It’s a quiet day at the state Capitol as legislative offices close for Veteran’s Day – if you’ve served or are active-duty, all of California’s state parks will let you in today for free thanks to legislation that sailed into law last year. National parks are free for everyone hoping to spend the day off in the grandeur of nature.
But rest assured that newsrooms remain open and reporters continue to keep an eye on yet-to-be-decided races left over from last week’s election. While a few of the squeakers have been called, like Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, who triumphed in a nasty election fight, others remain undecided as officials churn through uncounted mail and provisional ballots. Here are the races we’re still watching and where things stood as of Monday evening.
– Vying to keep the swing seat he won in 2012, Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, closed the gap on Republican challenger Doug Ose to 530 votes.
– Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Los Angeles, who is unexpectedly at risk of losing to an essentially unknown fellow Democrat named Patty Lopez, trails by an astonishing seven votes. That’s 7, as in .02 percent of all votes cast in the contest.
– Two other first-term Democrats in the state Legislature appear to be heading for opposite outcomes: Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, is behind by around 2,000 votes, while Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, has built a roughly 1,500 vote lead.
– Counties have not released enough new information for us to report changes in the margins between either Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, and Republican Johnny Tacherra or Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Thousand Oaks and outgoing Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo. According to the most recent California Secretary of State tallies, candidates in both races are within a thousand votes or so.
CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Barbara Boxer, who turns 74 today, and to Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, who celebrates her 66th.
Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.