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Vote updates in the two largest counties in a contested Central Valley House race yielded a split decision, but still left the once and possibly next congressman in the lead.

After updates from Kern, Tulare and Fresno counties, David Valadao (R-Hanford) still leads incumbent TJ Cox (D-Fresno) by 2,257 votes, or 50.7%. In the latest tally, Valadao’s lead slipped by a total of 111 votes from Thursday’s reports.

Vote totals by county and by number (through 5 p.m., Nov. 13)

Congress 21 Fresno Tulare Kings Kern TOTAL Lead Percentage
Cox (D) 27,943 2,753 15,811 31,863 78,370 49.3%
Valadao (R) 29,728 2,732 25,906 22,261 80,627         2,257 50.7%
Last reported  Nov. 13, 2:20 p.m.  Nov. 13, 4:52 p.m.  Nov. 6, 2:53 p.m.  Nov. 13, 1:12 p.m.
Estimated remainder in CD 21                                 371                                        165                         1,529                              9,209      11,274

While Cox picked up more votes as Kern County updated more than 5,700 votes on Friday afternoon, Valadao picked up a net of 101 from 931 new votes in Fresno County.

Cox picked up a much smaller margin than he has in previous updates from Kern. Of the 5,714 new votes tallied, Cox picked up 51.7% for a net gain of 192. Previous updates favored Cox by margins of between 57%-60%.

Tulare County updated with 30 votes, with Cox taking 25 of them.

Kings County has halted counting because of COVID-19 exposure and is scheduled to resume Nov. 21.

Kern County update of Nov. 13

 New Votes  For Cox  For Valadao  Difference
                      5,714                                    2,953                         2,761                                  192 for Cox
51.7% 48.3%

Fresno County update of Nov. 13

 New Votes  For Cox  For Valadao  Difference
                                931                                        415                             516                             101 for Valadao
44.6% 55.4%

Tulare County update for Nov. 13

 New Votes  For Cox  For Valadao  Difference
                                  30                                          25                                  5                                    20 for Cox
83.3% 16.7%

Cox, Valadao Preparing for Recount

If the final results for the Congressional District 21 election are close — and all indications are they will be — incumbent Cox is considering a recount.

He is currently soliciting contributions through the fundraising site ActBlue.

“Knowing this is a tight race, we’re preparing responsibly for every eventuality,”  Cox campaign manager Amanda Sands said.

The Cox campaign will engage in an outreach event this weekend to contact voters whose ballots have been set aside because of signature problems.

The ballots can still be “cured” — the official term used by election officials — if the voters send a statement verifying their signature two days prior to the election certification.

The identification of problematic ballots is a matter of public record, used by campaigns to help garner additional votes.

In Fresno County, that is anticipated to be Nov. 27, thus the deadline would be Nov. 25. The last day count registrars can certify is Dec. 3.

Valadao’s campaign would not say if they are considering a recount or contacting voters with invalid signatures.

However, there is a WinRed account soliciting recount funds.

Can Cox Overtake Valadao?

GV Wire℠ estimates a remainder of 11,274 CD 21 votes remaining in the four counties. That figure is based on the estimated number of votes remaining in the four counties and the respective number of voters in each county living in the district.

If the current percentage share from each county holds up, Cox would net 1,253 votes — not enough to overcome Valadao’s lead.

However, it is unknown exactly how many of the votes that remain are from the congressional district. County clerks are not tracking that number.

In 2018, Cox declared victory on Nov. 28, nearly three weeks after the election with a 862-vote margin.

Vote totals by county, by percentage

Congress 21 Fresno Tulare Kings Kern
Cox (D) 48.5% 50.19% 37.9% 58.9%
Valadao (R) 51.5% 49.81% 62.1% 41.1%

Vote estimates based on remaining amount

Estimated Vote Share Fresno Tulare Kings Kern TOTAL Lead
Cox                                180                                          83                             580                              5,421         6,263         1,253
Valadao                                191                                          82                             949                              3,788         5,011

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