It became official late Tuesday afternoon: Democratic challenger Josh Harder has an insurmountable lead over incumbent Republican Congressman Jeff Denham in the race for Denham’s 10th Congressional District seat.
Harder will take over the seat, which includes Stanislaus County and a portion of San Joaquin County. Denham had a slight lead in the polls on election night and for a few days following, but Harder began to catch up and then eventually passed the incumbent with announcement late Tuesday that Harder has been declared the winner.
DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján released the following statement on the Harder victory: “Congratulations to Josh Harder on an incredible campaign – it was truly a campaign of the Valley, for the Valley. Josh’s historic victory is a testament to the grassroots energy behind his campaign, which was disciplined and laser-focused on the kitchen table issues that Central Valley families face every day. I know Josh will continue to be a fierce advocate for the Valley in Congress – and look forward to working with him in Washington.”
Meanwhile, local election results for Escalon showed that voters easily returned a pair of incumbent City Council members to the panel but a multimillion dollar school bond was rejected.
With three seats available on the Escalon City Council, the latest numbers from the San Joaquin Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, Nov. 13 showed incumbent Ed Alves with 961 votes in the race and incumbent Robert Swift with 927. In third was Peter Krumeich, 689; followed by Richard Percey, 606 votes; Stephanie Ennis Wiensz, 519 votes; and Will Smith, 364 votes. Prior to the election, Wiensz officially withdrew but her name remained on the ballot.
With some provisional and conditional ballots still to be verified, the numbers are not yet official; the Registrar of Voters office has 30 days following the Nov. 6 election to finalize the results.
Alves and Swift, however, are back on the dais and likely will be joined by Krumeich.
“It is an exciting time,” said Mayor Pro Tem Swift. “We have a lot of projects going on, a lot of things to look forward to.”
In another major vote for the community, Escalon Unified School District voters rejected Measure E, a $25 million bond for school modernization and athletic facilities improvement, with 1,618 ‘No’ votes to 1,472 ‘Yes’ for the measure as of the Nov. 13 vote tabulation. That shows a 52 to 48 percent disapproval; the measure needed 55 percent approval to pass.
School District Superintendent Ron Costa said the school board would have to reassess the situation and determine how to proceed, possibly offering another, smaller bond down the road. Other San Joaquin County school districts offering bonds, Linden and Ripon, saw voters defeat the measures for those schools as well.
Incumbent school board member Richard Thompson in District 1 had 289 votes to challenger Ryan Rissetto’s 178 and incumbent Kate Powell also appeared headed back to the board with 300 votes in the race for District 2, outdistancing challenger Kurt Kale, with 216 votes.
Heath Flora easily won reelection in the 12th Assembly District, polling 20,169 votes in San Joaquin County to 11,597 cast for challenger Robert D. Chase. Flora also outpolled Chase in Stanislaus County to earn re-election.
San Joaquin County voters gave a slight edge to John Cox in the governor’s race, 55,612 votes to 55,354 for Gavin Newsom but that did not reflect the statewide trend, as Newsom was elected as the state’s next governor.