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As election prognosticators expected, the congressional race between incumbent TJ Cox and David Valadao was close after Election Night and could take time to determine a winner.

Valadao, the Hanford Republican, leads by 3,033 votes as of Wednesday morning. Cox, the Fresno Democrat, won the seat in 2018 by 862 votes. The winner wasn’t known until nearly three weeks later.

CD 21 Fresno Tulare Kings Kern Total Lead
Cox 21,069 1,924 13,530 16,713 53,236
Valadao 21,977 1,949 21,987 10,356 56,269 3,033

After Election Night in 2018, Valadao led by nearly 5,000 votes.

All precincts in the four counties that make up the 21st congressional district have reported. However, there remains vote by mail/drop box, conditional and provisional ballots.  Also, mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday can arrive as late as Nov. 20.

In Fresno County, 86,000 ballots remain countywide, with approximately 14,000 in the Cox-Valadao race. The next update will be Friday morning.

Kings County Registrar of Votes Lupe Villa says about 3,000 ballots remain from vote by mail and conditional. Counting of those ballots will take place on Thursday.

Other remaining vote totals are not known as of time of publication.

Valadao, Cox Waiting

Both candidates say the race is not over.

“We’re encouraged by the early results but we know there are a lot of votes still yet to be counted. Voters appear to have turned out in record numbers and they deserve to have their votes counted fairly and accurately. We have faith in our local election officials to do that,” Valadao said via email early Wednesday morning.

Cox had a similar comment late Tuesday night.

“We owe it to the Valley to get this right, and ensure each and every vote is counted, no matter who wins. Tonight I’m urging the Central Valley to take a pause, so every voice can be heard,” Cox said.

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