STOCKTON — Less than 1,300 votes out of 112,000 counted so far separate incumbent U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, from his Democratic challenger, Josh Harder, for the 10th Congressional District that covers Stanislaus and southern San Joaquin counties.
With “tens of thousands” of ballots left to be counted, it could be weeks before the outcome of this too-close-to-call race is determined.
Denham, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, leads the tally with 56,701 votes, or 50.6 percent, to political novice Harder’s 55,414, or 49.4 percent, according to numbers provided by the California Secretary of State’s Office.
On Wednesday, Denham was unavailable for comment and was said to be spending time with his family.
Campaign spokesman Josh Whitfield said, “Our campaign remains confident with the returns we see so far. We are optimistic about winning.”
Whitfield said he hopes the trend the Denham camp observed on Election Day — winning the majority of votes cast at the polls in both Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, and winning the early mail-in votes in Stanislaus County — will hold up as the remainder of the outstanding ballots are tallied.
“We’re confident that we’re up, and we are buckled up for the long haul,” he said.
Neither Harder nor anyone with his campaign could be reached for comment Wednesday.
The San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters reported Wednesday that “tens of thousands” of provisional, conditional, late mail-in and seven-day ballots remain to be counted in coming days and weeks. They could not be more specific. The next public vote update is expected at 5 p.m. Friday.
Lee Lundrigan, Stanislaus County’s registrar, said much the same, noting that ballots remaining to be counted there number in the “many thousands. This election is going to take the full amount of time until Dec. 6 to complete. There is a lot left over to do.”
What stood out in this election for Lundrigan was “the unprecedented number of voters who came in to register and vote on Election Day under the new conditional ballot law.” Once tallied, she said those numbers should have a significant impact on the final voter turnout.
In the 9th Congressional District that covers Stockton, Lodi and parts of Sacramento and Contra Costa counties, with all precincts partially reporting, incumbent Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, led Republican challenger Marla Livengood of Lodi 54.3 percent to 45.7 percent, or 56,186 votes to 47,316 — a difference of 8,870.
Contact reporter Joe Goldeen at (209) 546-8278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at recordnet.com/goldeenblog and on Twitter @JoeGoldeen.