BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It has now been three weeks since the midterm primary election and final vote counts are not tallied. But the most recent update of around 30,000 newly counted ballots solidified one competitive race, and brought shockwaves through a few others.
Some of our races, particularly those here at the county level, have been hanging in the balance for weeks since the election. This most recent update appeared to put us very close to the finish line when it comes to the vote counting process — but instead of making some of our races clearer, the new numbers actually put more question marks around some key contests.
22nd Congressional District
But first, we’ll start with a race that did become clearer.
The AP is now calling that Republican Incumbent David Valadao will move on to the November General Election in the 22nd Congressional District race. He will face Democrat Bakersfield Assemblyman Rudy Salas, who the AP determined would move on back on election night.
35th Assembly District
In the 35th Assembly district, Democrat Leticia Perez took an early lead over Democrat Dr. Jasmeet Bains. This race tightened as more votes came in and after the most recent update, it now sits within a single percentage point. Dr. Bains trails Perez by just 228 votes.
Both candidates will move on to the General Election.
Auditor-Controller-County Clerk-Registrar of Voters
In the Auditor-Controller-County Clerk race, the current assistant to the position, Aimee Espinoza, jumped out to an early, solid lead — leading Mark McKenzie by 22 percentage points on election night.
The most recent tally put McKenzie within about 1,800 votes of Espinoza. The race now sits with Espinoza leading 51% to 49%.
In the Assessor-Recorder race, the assistant Assessor-Recorder, Laura Avila, led county Chief Appraiser Todd Reeves by 20 percentage points on election night. After the update, Reeves only trails by about 4%.
The candidate who will take on the roles in both of these county positions almost certainly will be decided by these primary election results, without being back on the ballot again in November.
Kern Registrar of Voters Mary Bedard estimates we have around 8,000 ballots left. Both McKenzie and Reeves now trail by less than 8,000 votes — so both of these races remain too close to call.