Leads switch in Valley congressional races

Freshman Congressman Ami Bera might get a second term after all, thanks to 711 people.

The Sacramento County elections office said Wednesday evening that Mr. Bera, a Democrat, had 87,643 votes or 50.20 percent of the total counted at that point. His Republican challenger, Doug Ose, who was leading on election night and through the weekend, had 86,932 or 49.80 percent.

The latest tally puts Mr. Bera ahead by 711 votes. The count also shows that 6,323 voters voted for neither candidate and 35 voted for both men.

“On Election Day, I said that I was confident we’d win this election and I’m encouraged by the numbers released today,” says Mr. Bera in a written statement. “We need to let the Registrar continue to count the remaining ballots, and we’re excited to see what the final margin will be.”

The Central Valley’s other close congressional contest now has incumbent Democrat Jim Costa leading his Republican challenger Johnny Tacherra by 86 votes, based on an updated count in Fresno County Wednesday afternoon.

But more than 2,200 provisional ballots remain to be counted in Merced and Madera counties, where elections officials say they do not plan any announcement of new totals until at least Friday. Mr. Tachera carried both of the counties with percentages high enough that if they translate to the remaining provisional ballot, the dairy farmer will be going to Washington.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tachera is in Washington as the presumed congressman-elect and going through freshman orientation classes.

Nov. 13, 2014 Central Valley Business Times