Democrat Harley Rouda declared victory Saturday, Nov. 10, in his bid to oust Republican Dana Rohrabacher from a congessional seat hes held for 30 years.
Rohrabachers campaign did not concede, noting there are more than 300,000 ballots countywide that have yet to be counted in Orange County.
The 48th Congressional District seat became one of the most competitive and expensive races in the nation. Rohrabacher was targeted by Democrats as a vulnerable candidate whose seat could be flipped blue in what has traditionally been a solid Republican district.
Neither the Associated Press nor any major media outlet has called the race.
Rouda, a Laguna Beach real estate executive, was leading Rohrabacher with 105,047 votes, or 51.8 percent, to Rohrabachers 97,719, or 48.2 percent, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters office.
In a statement Saturday, Rouda said his lead has been increasing daily since Election Day. With a lead of 7,328 votes as of Saturday morning, “my staff and I are now confident that we have won the Congressional race in Californias 48th District.
“This victory has been powered by voters across the political spectrum, hailing from all corners, and all communities, of the 48th District,” Rouda said.
Ben Ray Luján, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which supports Democratic House candidates, issued a statement Saturday morning congratulating Rouda: “In the most Republican congressional district in one of the countrys most famed Republican strongholds, it takes a special kind of candidate to win. Congressman-elect Harley Rouda was that candidate. We were proud to stand alongside Harley to win in the June primary, and we are proud to stand with him as he makes history in Orange County.”
In an e-mail Saturday, Dale Neugebauer, Rohrabachers campaign spokesman, said that the tally is too close to comment on until a final count is in.
“There are still more than 300,000 ballots remaining to count. Our volunteer observers are at the Registrar of voters observing that process. We will have additional comment once the count is complete.”
There are still 366,436 ballots left to count as of Saturday, including an estimated 160,000 provisional ballots and another 168,940 vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls.
The next update from the Orange County Registrar of Voters is expected at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10.
Please check back for updates.