UPDATE: The latest results show Democratic incumbent Congresswoman Julia Brownley maintaining a slim lead over her Republican challenger Jeff Gorrell. On Monday, Brownley also sent an email blast asking supporters for funds in a possible recount of the race.
Brownley’s 1,028 vote lead with approximately 35,000 ballots remaining to be counted has political junkies keeping a close watch on the race. The next vote total update is expected later in the week, likely Wednesday at the earliest due to the Veteran’s Day holiday on Tuesday.
State election law says the election results must be certified by the beginning of December. On Monday, Brownley sent out an email asking for money to fund a possible recount.
“…our race is still too close to call, so I need your help. There are thousands of outstanding ballots. The vote-counting process is incredibly expensive, but our legal team needs the resources to ensure a fair process so that every voice is heard,” the email said.
Gorell, a sitting member of the assembly and Afghanistan War veteran, is fighting to take the seat from Brownley, a freshman House member who two years ago became the first Democrat in 70 years to be elected to represent Ventura County in Congress.
Campaigning leading up to the election was intense. Democrats brought in former President Bill Clinton just days before the election to stump for Brownley votes in Oxnard, while Republicans brought in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to back Gorell.
The race was also pricey with the candidates breaking records for spending in a county political campaign. The candidates and outside groups spent more than $7.7 million on this race. Spending was 2-1 in Brownley’s favor.
As the battle comes to an end, both candidates said they are happy with the way they ran their campaigns.
“I think I ran a positive campaign, and it is a little bit of an experiment to see if someone who is running a positive campaign can actually win,” said Gorell.
“We had armies and armies of volunteers and I think their effort and their work is going to make the difference. So I am extremely grateful and a lucky candidate,” said Brownley.District 26 Gold Coast, Ventura