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Democrat Josh Newman takes the lead in drawn-out battle over state Senate seat and supermajority

 (Courtesy of Josh Newman for State Senate)
(Courtesy of Josh Newman for State Senate)

Josh Newman has taken the lead in his tightly contested race for a Southern California state Senate seat that could hand a supermajority to Democrats in both houses of the Legislature.

Newman, a Democrat, is ahead by 829 votes following the latest release of vote counts by Orange County elections officials Monday afternoon.

The new vote count does not include updated returns from Los Angeles County, where about 18% of voters in the 29th Senate District live, or San Bernardino County, which contains 8% of voters. 

On Friday, GOP Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) was ahead, but her lead had narrowed to fewer than 200 votes.

Newman's position could change yet again with new tabulations from San Bernardino County, where he had previously been trailing Chang by 2,294 votes. 

Los Angeles County plans to release updated numbers later Tuesday, while San Bernardino County has a planned update Wednesday.

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