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.
Here’s a breakdown by county support of the two candidates:
|County (percentage of District 21 registered voters)||Valadao||Cox|
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).
|Vote by mail||386||380||147||351|
|Other (damaged, etc.)||2,410||0||142||1,117|
Source: California Secretary of State, 11/26/2018 5 p.m.