Dave Wasserman, the U.S. House editor for Cook Political Report, called yet another race for California Republicans on Friday evening, which would mark the third GOP pick-up in the state during the 2020 general election, and the fourth of the year.
“I’ve seen enough. David Valadao (R) defeats Rep. T.J. Cox (D) in #CA21, bringing the House GOP’s net gain to 9 seats so far,” tweeted the renowned elections analyst.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 21, 2020
As of Saturday afternoon, two congressional races in California remain uncalled for by major media outlets, including the district that Wasserman has projected Valadao, a former congressman, will take back from the Democrat who defeated him in 2018.
Valadao, however, has taken a more cautious approach and released a brief Twitter statement on Friday urging his supporters to remain patient, despite positive developments in the congressional race.
“Today’s election update for #CA21 has been encouraging. While we continue to patiently wait for the remaining votes to be counted, I’d like to thank all those who have supported my campaign and helped us accomplish so much this year,” tweeted Valadoa.
Today’s election update for #CA21 has been encouraging. While we continue to patiently wait for the remaining votes to be counted, I’d like to thank all those who have supported my campaign and helped us accomplish so much this year.
— David G. Valadao (@dgvaladao) November 21, 2020
The Fresno Bee, which reported on Wasserman’s call, notes that Valadao leads Cox by 1,618 votes as of Friday evening. The Bee also notes that The Associated Press has not called the race, and when they did call the race for Valadao back in 2018, they later had to issue a rare reversal of the call when it became clear Valadao had not actually won.
One other California congressional race remains uncalled for by major media outlets — California’s 25th district, which was previously occupied by Democrat Katie Hill.
Despite the lack of media projection, the incumbent, Congressman Mike Garcia (R-CA), declared victory over his Democratic opponent Christy Smith late Friday evening, a decision that Smith derided as premature given the number of outstanding votes.
“Mike Garcia’s declaration of victory is dangerous to our Democratic process. With a mere 400 vote margin and thousands of ballots outstanding, election officials are diligently working to process ballots and accurately count all outstanding votes to ensure our communities are heard, and this race remains too close to call,” said Smith.
“The Congressman’s decision is wholly inappropriate, and disrespectful of those who have taken the time to vote this year,” she continued. “Our county officials and Secretary of State Alex Padilla have done a phenomenal job of protecting every voter’s right to be heard in the most challenging election of our lifetime. We owe them and especially our voters our continued patience as the process is completed.”
According to DecisionDeskHQ, Garcia currently holds a 400 vote lead over Smith, a narrow margin in a race where more than 300,000 have been cast.
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