Honda declares win as officials add to tallies in close House races

Democrats face off
Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), left, and fellow Democrat Ro Khanna take part in a candidates forum in May.
(Jim Gensheimer / Bay Area News Group)

With fewer than 30,000 votes left to count, Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) declared victory Friday in his bruising battle with fellow Democrat Ro Khanna. Khanna conceded a few hours later.

After thanking his supporters, Honda, during a news conference at his campaign headquarters in Newark, declared he was going to stick around for the foreseeable future.

“I’m not going anywhere,” said the 73-year-old Honda, who led Khanna 52.2%-47.8% in the latest tally.

Khanna had tried to portray Honda as too old-fashioned for the tech-heavy district.


In an evening news conference at his Fremont campaign headquarters, Khanna congratulated Honda and said he respected district voters’ “judgment and decision.”

The dust-up between the veteran congressman and the former Obama administration official was one of the costliest in the state. Khanna spent at least $4.2 million and Honda about $2.6 million. Groups on both sides pitched in with spending outside the campaigns.

Also Friday, election officials released some updated tallies in other House contests around the state, some of which remain too close to call. 

In Ventura County, Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) widened, to 1,028 votes, her thin margin over Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo). And Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego), who was behind Republican challenger Carl DeMaio in election night returns, continued to pick up votes and was up by 4,491 on Friday.


For other endangered Democratic congressmen, the news was not so good. Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) continued to trail former Republican Doug Ose of Sacramento, by 2,183 votes.

And in the biggest surprise of the congressional races, Rep. Jim Costa of Fresno was running behind dairy farmer Johnny Tacherra, but on Friday Costa had moved to within 78 votes of Tacherra.

In another unexpectedly close race, Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) was holding onto his lead over Republican activist and retired U.S. marshall Tony Amador. The Associated Press called the race for McNerney on Friday evening.

The continued counting involves mainly mail ballots that arrived too late to be tallied on election night, plus provisional ballots, each of which must be verified. Counties must send their completed tallies to the California secretary of state’s office by Dec. 2.

Follow @jeanmerl for the latest in Southern California politics news.

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