Votes in the protracted California Secretary of State Debra Bowen reported yesterday that Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) has the same 0.9% lead over his Republican challenger David Harmer as on Tuesday even though county registrars in the four counties the 11th District represents are supposed to be still counting ballots.
As of 3:16 p.m. Thursday afternoon, she said the latest vote count in the 11th Congressional District race was the same as she reported a day earlier. Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) has less than a 1 percent lead over his Republican challenger David Harmer, with several thousand ballots yet to be counted.
The vote as of yesterday afternoon only slight changes from Wednesday's report, which had McNerney and Harmer both with slight numerical gains but with no change in the percent of total votes received. According to Bowen, McNerney as of Wednesday afternoon has received 111,438 votes, or still at 47.9%, Harmer has 109,655 votes, or 47.0%, and American Independent party candidate David Christensen as of late yesterday had received 11,943 votes, or 5.1%.
As the counting goes on—or doesn't--both 11th District Congressional candidates went to Washington Monday. McNerney returned to his Capitol Hill office and his seat on the floor in the House of Representatives for a short one-week session that ends tomorrow. He plans to return again after Thanksgiving for the final session of the 111th Congress.
Harmer attended orientation briefings for new members of Congress.
"Since we don't yet know whether I'll become a new member of Congress, I'm participating with a unique blend of apprehension and hope," Harmer said in an email to supporters.
McNerney remains convinced that he has won re-election to a third term in Congress.
"The trend is very clear," McNerney said. "The lead is insurmountable."
Harmer, however, disagreed, saying it would be premature to concede while the votes are still being counted. He has also asked supporters to contribute to a special recount fund that's being set up if he ends up challenging the vote count.