‘I’m not saying there’s anything nefarious about it, because I just don’t know…’
(Rory Appleton, The Fresno Bee) As North Carolina’s 9th District has been termed a “national embarrassment” for the election fraud issues that threaten to reverse one GOP congressman-elect’s win, on the other side of the country, California has officially taken down its seventh GOP victory through late returns.
Republican Rep. David Valadao on Thursday conceded to Democrat TJ Cox in the race for Valadao’s seat in California’s 21st Congressional District.
This puts the total number of Democrat pickups at 40, giving them at least 235 seats in the next Congress to Republicans’ 199, with NC-09 still in dispute, according to RealClear Politics.
Valadao called Cox to concede and released a statement, saying “representing the Central Valley in Congress has been the honor of a lifetime.”
Cox’s campaign confirmed Valadao’s concession in its own statement.
“I thanked Congressman Valadao and his family for their service to our country and our communities during the past six years,” Cox, of Fresno, said. “We will work together to ensure a smooth transition for our constituents.”
Valadao, of Hanford, was almost 5,000 votes ahead of Cox on election night, but late returns caught up with the three-term congressman—as they did for six of his fellow California Republicans.
With the certification of elections in Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties this week, the final margin appears to be 862 votes—less than 1 percentage point—in Cox’s favor.
Retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan commented recently on California’s highly “bizarre” voting system—including the recently legalized ballot harvesting, which permits a voter to hand over a ballot to a third party to be cast.
“When you win the absentee ballots and you win the in-person vote, where I come from, you win the election,” Ryan said.
Astoundingly, in the state’s final returns, Democrats were able California’s already under-represented GOP congressional delegation to half of what it had been, now comprising only seven out of its 53 total seats.
“I’m not saying there’s anything nefarious about it, because I just don’t know,” Ryan said in late November, “but we believed we were up about six seats in California the night of the election, now I think we lost just about every single one of those.”
Democrats like California Secretary of State Alex Padilla reacted with indignation that Ryan would dare question the state’s “loosey goosy” vote counting.