Republican Doug Ose’s lead over Democratic Rep. Ami Bera shrunk to more than 2,000 votes Thursday, as elections officials churned through tens of thousands of ballots to determine whether suburban Sacramento County’s 7th Congressional District will change partisan hands.
Ose, a former congressman, saw his lead drop from the 3,011-vote advantage he had on Election Day. He’s trying to become the first California Republican challenger to oust a Democratic House incumbent since the Republican Revolution of 1994.
Elsewhere, Democratic Rep. Jim Costa of Fresno was trailing Republican Johnny Tacherra in a race too close to call.
Democratic Reps. Scott Peters of San Diego and Julia Brownley of Thousand Oaks held slim leads over their Republican challengers Carl DeMaio and Jeff Gorell. Tens of thousands of ballots in the districts remain uncounted.
Sacramento elections officials added 31,688 ballots to the count on Thursday, leaving more than 70,000 mail and untold provisional ballots left to be counted. Bera issued a prepared statement, concluding “I'm confident we have done what is needed to come out on top.”
Ose’s team released a statement of its own, disagreeing.
“No matter what Congressman Bera tries to say, Ose is still in the lead,” it said. “We are confident Doug Ose’s message of fixing the economy and getting Sacramento County back to work will prevail.”
Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago