Capitol Alert

Doug Ose vs. Ami Bera too close to call, other California congressional races tight

Republican challenger Doug Ose held a 3,000-vote lead over first-term Rep. Ami Bera early Wednesday, a margin too slender for either side to declare victory.

In the national battlefield of contested congressional races, the Sacramento-area race occupied a prime position. Torrents of money made it one of the most expensive campaigns in the country as Republicans sought to defeat, and Democrats rallied to defend, a vulnerable freshman.

Ose’s campaign said in an email that 90,000 ballots remain uncounted in Sacramento County, citing the county registrar’s office, and estimated that 70 percent of those came from voters in the 7th Congressional District, which spans Elk Grove, Folsom and nearby communities.

The map below shows how the vote has gone up to now.

The Bera-Ose clash was one of several heavily contested efforts to unseat Democratic members of California’s delegation. A rundown of other competitive races:

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, trailed Republican challenger Johnny Tacherra by a mere 736 votes.

Another Democratic incumbent, Rep. John Garamendi of Walnut Grove, held a five percentage-point lead over Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Marysville.

In the 26th district, Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Valley Village, clung to a 530-vote advantage over Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, widely seen as one of the most promising members of the California Republican Party’s bench.

San Diego residents chose between Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, and Republican challenger Carl DeMaio in a bitter race marked by allegations of sexual misconduct. Just 752 votes separated them with all precincts reporting, with DeMaio ahead.

Also in Southern California, Rep. Lois Capps fended off a challenge from Republican Chris Mitchum.

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, rounds out the list of vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Ruiz held a seven percentage point lead over Assemblyman Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert.

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.