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Going, Going, Gone? Democrat Cox Now Leads Valadao.



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Nearly three weeks after election night, Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) now trails Democratic challenger TJ Cox for California’s 21st district seat in Washington.

Despite trailing by nearly 8 percentage points after the returns reported on Nov. 6, Cox took over the lead Monday as the vote-by-mail and provisional ballots continued to break his way.

Cox Holds 436-Vote Lead

The latest updates from Kern and Tulare counties now give Cox, a Fresno businessman, a 436-vote lead.

“Here in the Central Valley, we are often underestimated and counted out,” Cox said in a statement issued late Monday afternoon. “But while the national spotlight focused elsewhere, our hard-working communities came together to fight for better health care, good jobs, and more opportunities.

“We came together to stand up for our families and our neighbors because Washington wasn’t standing up for us. We demanded better from our elected officials. Now, together, we are bringing the decency, integrity, and common sense of the people back to Congress.”

Valadao’s campaign did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Cox Rallies in Kern County

In the latest batch of results from Kern County, Cox took 73% of the 1,883 votes. Tulare County offered a smaller update, with Valadao taking 24 of the 46 updated votes.

Fresno County is expected to update its numbers Wednesday. While Valadao is still leading in Fresno County, support has been trending Cox’s way.

Kings and Tulare counties plan to update their counts later this week. Both counties are trending Valadao, but there may not be enough votes left in those GOP strongholds for him to regain the lead.

The election officials in the four counties (Kern, Fresno, Kings, Tulare) that comprise District 21 have until Dec. 7 to certify the election. The secretary of state has until Dec. 14 to do the same.

Latest Numbers

Here’s a breakdown by county support of the two candidates:

County (percentage of District 21 registered voters) Valadao Cox
Kern (39%) 39% 15,098 61% 23,693
Fresno (34%) 51% 20,262 49% 19,663
Kings (24%) 63% 17,977 37% 10,716
Tulare (3%) 54% 1,899 46% 1,600
TOTAL 49.8% 55,212 50.2% 55,650

Through 11/26/2018

Votes Remaining

Here’s a look at what’s left to count. Not all the remaining votes in the county would be for District 21, except for Kings (where the entire county is in the congressional district).

Kern Fresno Kings Tulare
Total Remaining 2,919 15,220 1,577 7,793
Vote by mail 386 380 147 351
Provisional 0 14,000 1,040 6,134
Conditional 123 820 248 191
Other (damaged, etc.) 2,410 0 142 1,117

Source: California Secretary of State, 11/26/2018 5 p.m.


David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email