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California’s 21st CD is Last to be Called Nationwide

Democratic TJ Cox has Pulled into the Lead

By Sean Brown, November 27, 2018 3:52 pm

It appears Republican incumbent David Valadao may be heading for the exits after new vote counts depict Democratic challenger TJ Cox now in the lead.

The fight over California’s 21st Congressional District which encompasses parts of Kings County, western Fresno County, southwestern Tulare county, and northwestern Kern county has so far proved painstaking long as it has dragged on for nearly three weeks now.

Originally, many news organizations such as the Associated Press, called the contest in favor of Valadao within the first week, however, they have had to retract their statements upon learning Tulare’s vote count has not been finalized. The California Globe was one of the first to note that the race was one of the tightest in the state, yet it lacked considerable media attention.

Trailing by nearly 4,400 votes on election night, Cox, the 55 year-old engineer and local agricultural business owner, has slowly made a comeback with the help of late voters. This is Cox’s first time in the lead as he currently stands at a 438-vote lead according to the Fresno Bee.

Furthermore the local paper accounts that thousands of ballots remain to be counted. With that margin, anything is possible.

California Democrats have managed to gain 7 seats so far in 2018’s Midterm Elections and now they have the possibility of gaining another. If Cox is able to achieve victory, Democrats will surely be pleased as their national net-gain will rise to 40 seats. California’s 21st district is the last House race still undecided in the country.

Interestingly enough, this is Cox’s second attempt at running for Congress. Challenging Republican George Radanovich over a decade ago in 2006, Cox lost handily in a district that included most of northern Fresno.

Sean Brown

Before becoming a writer for the California Globe, Sean served as a Legislative Director in the New York City Council and is an NYU alumnus.
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