By John Gizzi, Newsmax
Although the returns are not yet finalized in California’s 21st District, (Fresno, Kern counties) signs are strong that former Republican Rep. Dave Valadao has won a rematch of his 2018 contest with Democratic Rep. T.J. Cox.
As of Friday, Valadao held a lead of roughly 1,700 votes over Cox — down from the 2,000 vote lead he held a week before.
Local observers expect the final count to be completed no later than November 25.
Should Valadao’s wafer-thin margin hold up, he will become the third Republican in California to oust a sitting Democratic U.S. Representative. The others are Michelle Park Steel (48th District) and Young Kim (39th District), who won neighboring districts in Orange County.
In effect, the 2020 contest in the 21st District is a “repeat” of the ’18 race not only because of the personalities but because of the tightness of the outcome. In that race, engineer Cox unseated three-term Rep. Valadao by 862 votes in one of the closest U.S. House elections in the nation.
Should his present lead hold up, Valadao will again be one of two Republican U.S. Representatives of Portugese heritage (the other is fellow Californian Devin Nunes.)