Republican David Valadao has defeated incumbent Rep. T. J. Cox (D-CA) in the close race for California’s 21st congressional district, according to Decision Desk.
Valadao avenged his loss in the Central Valley district in 2018, when Cox narrowly defeated the three-term congressman by less than 900 votes as mail-in ballots were counted. Though Valadao was leading on Election Night, Cox won the race several weeks later.
Valadao had a comfortable lead of 6.4% on Election Day. But California has extremely lenient rules about mail-in ballots, allowing ballots to be counted as long as they are postmarked by midnight on Election Day and received within the three days following.
Cox had severe weaknesses as a candidate, including the fact that he had a “primary residence” in Bethesda, Maryland. Valadao crushed him in the primary race by nearly two-to-one.
But the Democrats’ turnout machine proved too strong for Republicans across the state — including, apparently, Valadao.
In the aftermath, Valadao blamed “ballot harvesting” for his loss. The practice, illegal until 2020 almost everywhere outside California, allows party operatives to collect and deliver unlimited numbers of mail-in ballots.
As the Associated Press explained in 2018:
It’s a practice long used by special-interest groups and both major political parties that is viewed either as a voter service that... (Read more)
Submitted 60 days ago