A runoff seems evident for a vacant Central Valley congressional seat between a familiar political name and a newcomer.
As results pour in from Fresno and Tulare counties for the 22nd Congressional District seat, Connie Conway, R-Tulare, and Lourin Hubbard, D-Fresno, are in position for a June 7 winner-take-all election.
Results as of 11 p.m. on Tuesday night show Conway with 34.8% of the vote, with Hubbard in second at 19.7%, based on 63,726 votes — which includes all day-of voting precincts for Fresno and Tulare counties. Both county clerks say no more updates are expected for the evening.
There are still an unknown vote by mail and provisional ballots remaining.
With the apparent absence of a candidate with a majority, the top two will move on.
“I look forward to the hard work it’s going to take between now and June. I appreciate all the folks that supported me. I’ll be looking for more supporters in order to be successful,” Conway, a former minority leader in the state Assembly said from a friend’s home in Tulare.
Hubbard, a state water manager, is ready to “shock the nation.”
“What happened tonight … isn’t supposed to happen, especially in this district. That a black man from a working class background isn’t supposed to shock the state. But that’s exactly what I did — what we did,” Hubbard said from his home after a watch party with supporters in Fresno.
Navy veteran and businessman Matt Stoll, R-Visalia, is in third place, trailing Hubbard by less than 3,000 votes which translates to 4.6%.
While results could still change, it would take a mathematical anomaly for Conway to either gain a majority, or drop into third place.
As of Wednesday morning, Fresno County has about 10,300 ballots left to count. More may come in as vote by mail ballots arrive.
|Fresno County||Tulare County||Total|
|Connie Conway (R)||11,005||27.6%||11,170||47.0%||22,175||34.8%|
|Lourin Hubbard (D)||9,049||22.7%||3,497||14.7%||12,546||19.7%|
|Matt Stoll (R)||6,135||15.4%||3,512||14.8%||9,647||15.1%|
|Eric Garcia (D)||5,768||14.4%||3,806||16.0%||9,574||15.0%|
|Michael Maher (R)||4,415||11.1%||1,250||5.3%||5,665||8.9%|
|Elizabeth Heng (R)||3,572||8.9%||547||2.3%||4,119||6.5%|
As of 4/05/22, 11 p.m.
Six Ran in Special Election
Polls closed at 8 p.m. in the 22nd Congressional District with six candidates vying to represent the Central Valley in Washington D.C.
Four Republicans and two Democrats were running for the House seat vacated by Devin Nunes, R-Tulare. Nunes resigned Jan. 1 to become CEO of former President Donald Trump’s social media company.
Even with redistricting, only voters under the “old” CD 22 border — which covers parts of Fresno and Tulare counties — are eligible to cast ballots. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to a June 7 runoff.
Conway expected a runoff.
“With six candidates, it seems like a really large ask to get to 50 percent plus one,” Conway said. “It doesn’t appear that we’re going to get there.”
Neither Conway nor Hubbard are running for a full-term seat.
Three other candidates from Tuesday night will appear again on the June 7th ballot.
Stoll, Eric Garcia, D-Clovis, and Michael Maher, R-Kingsburg are running in the 21st Congressional District — which includes most of the city of Fresno and parts of Fresno and Tulare counties.
There will be some overlap of the current and newly redistricted 22nd Congressional District on the June 7 ballot. Voters in most of the city of Tulare and surrounding area in Tulare County will see two different lists of candidates under the same banner.
Conway and Hubbard are likely to appear in one, the short-term seat; Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield and two others are running for the new full-term CD 22 seat.
When Will Winner Be Sworn In?
A candidate could have been sworn in by April 14, but that does not appear to be the case.
“The Clerk’s office must first receive a letter from the Secretary of State or appropriate Election official stating that, according to unofficial results, there is a Member-elect. Once that letter is received by the Clerk and laid before the House, the Member-elect can be sworn in as a Member of Congress. There is no specific date for the swearing in,” said the office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Although polls closed at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, the last day for mail-in ballots to be received by the election office is April 12 — as long as they are postmarked by April 5. The last day for voters to cure a mismatched or absent signature on a ballot is April 12.
The two county clerks have until April 14 to certify results with the Secretary of State. Fresno County Clerk James Kus says he is likely to certify on that date and not before.
The winner will serve until Jan. 3, 2023 when the term expires.
Traditionally, turnout for special elections is low.
The district has 415,021 registered voters — 257,752 in Fresno County and 156,269 in Tulare County.
Through Monday, Fresno County received 40,657 ballots — either by mail or drop box. Tulare County received 23,727 by mail.