Capitol Alert

Cox overtakes Valadao + Year of the Woman + 700K uncounted ballots

Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford (left) has been overtaken by Democrat TJ Cox in the 2018 race for re-election. Thousands of votes remain to be counted as of Nov. 26, 2018.
Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford (left) has been overtaken by Democrat TJ Cox in the 2018 race for re-election. Thousands of votes remain to be counted as of Nov. 26, 2018. Fresno Bee

We’re back in action here at the Capitol after a lovely Thanksgiving. While you’re enjoying your days-old Thanksgiving leftovers, here’s something else to munch on:

COX CAN WIN

There’s still a shot for him to come out on top. No, not John Cox.

We’re talking about TJ Cox — the Democratic congressional candidate looking to unseat Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford.

On Monday afternoon, the latest numbers came in. They were staggering. Cox overperformed in Kern County, capturing 73 percent of the 1,883 votes that came. And just like that, a 447-vote deficit turned into a 438-vote lead.

But Cox is not out of the woods out. The Central Valley district includes three counties where Valadao is currently winning: Kings, Fresno and Tulare. With thousands of more outstanding ballots, Valadao still has a shot at holding his seat. Regardless, things are not looking good for him as of late. Cox has cut into Valado’s lead in Fresno County and is likely to continue to do so ballots continue to trickle in.

Sure, this is a competitive race in a GOP-leaning district. Yes, Cox always had a fighting chance. But few people could have seen this result coming. The Associated Press even called the race for Valadao.

Heck, Valadao called the race for Valadao on Election Night. “I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the place I love,” he tweeted around midnight.

The tides have changed, and Democrats could soon pick off a seventh GOP-held congressional seat. This is in addition to a likely sweep of statewide contests and “unprecedented” control of the Capitol.

YEAR OF THE WOMAN

Women candidates have broken barriers in California. Here’s a couple fun facts courtesy of Alex Vassar, legislative historian for the California State Library:

  • By winning Senate District 14, Democratic challenger Melissa Hurtado will become the youngest woman ever elected to the California Senate. She’ll be 30.7 years old. She’s also the youngest state senator since 1981.
  • At 41 years old, Malia Cohen will become the youngest female constitutional officer in California’s history. She will represent the second district for the board of equalization

700,000 UNCOUNTED BALLOTS

The clock is ticking. It’s been three weeks since Election Day, and about 4 million ballots have slowly come in. Counties still have just under 700,000 ballots left, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Among the uncounted ballots are about 176,000 mail-ins and 461,000 provisionals.

IMPROVING EMERGENCY ALERTS

The Camp Fire may be 100 percent contained, but the debate over how to minimize wildfire damages rages on. At 9:30 a.m. in Carpinteria, lawmakers are holding an informational hearing to learn about ways to improve the state’s emergency alert systems.

  Comments