Indian American congressman in better position to retain seat.
Though the result may take many more days to be called, Indian American incumbent Rep. Ami Bera is in a strong position to retain his congressional seat from California’s 7th District, after he doubled his lead over challenger, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, to more than 4,800 votes.
Bera, a Democrat, now holds a 4,802 vote lead over Jones, as of the most recent count. Bera had been leading by more than 2,000 votes previously.
Monday marked the final deadline for votes to be received by county elections officials. State law says mail-in ballots postmarked on Election Day have up to three days to arrive; however, since the deadline fell on Veterans Day, it was extended until Monday, reported CBS Sacramento.
More than 14,000 undervotes have been recorded in the contest, meaning those voters did not cast a vote in the race.
The Sacramento Bee reported Bera awoke the morning after the Nov. 8 election leading Jones by less than 1 percent, or 2,094 votes. It was a comparatively strong position given that the Elk Grove physician trailed, or led by the slimmest of margins, in his previous two victories. The last one came by just 1,455 votes in 2014.
Despite the big lead now, Jones, who even attended the orientation in Washington, wasn’t in position to concede.
His campaign strategist, Dave Gilliard, pointed to the tens of thousands of ballots left to count. A large batch of those is not expected to be tallied until next week, he said, reported the Bee.
Congressional election results in California so far have largely tipped in favor of incumbents.
While Republicans were on the defensive over their associations with President-elect Donald Trump, only veteran Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, has ended up losing, and it was to fellow Democrat Ro Khanna, another Indian American.
In northern San Diego, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista led Democratic challenger Doug Applegate by 4,576 votes as of Wednesday.