Ramani declines to concede

Despite being behind by more than 6,000 votes, Republican Sunder Ramani will wait for outstanding absentee ballots to be counted before making a decision on conceding the 43rd Assembly District race to Democrat Mike Gatto, a campaign spokesman said.

Gatto won nearly 60% of the vote in Tuesday’s special election to fill the vacant seat until the general election on Nov. 2, according to preliminary results from the Los Angeles County registrar.

But on Wednesday, John Thomas, Ramani’s campaign manager, said he had been notified that at least 5,000 late absentee ballots and an unknown amount of provisional ballots had yet to be counted.

“Before we make any official announcement, we want to make sure all the votes are counted,” Thomas said.

Ramani's campaign has also declined to say whether he will run for the general Nov. 2 election until they have a better handle on the uncounted ballots.

Preliminary totals have the current gap between the two candidates at 6,155 votes, which would likely require that all of the uncounted ballots go for Ramani. 

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County registrar/recorder said they wouldn’t have a firm number of uncounted ballots until later today, and that counting wouldn’t start until Thursday.
Meanwhile, Gatto flew to Sacramento Wednesday to start the transition. He said he expected to take the oath of office in the next two weeks.

“I think that in this era of term limits, almost every day that you can use to learn the system and understand the process is valuable and should be taken advantage of,” he said on his way to the airport.

The Assembly district’s former representative, Paul Krekorian, whose Los Angeles City Council district includes overlapping areas, released a statement Wednesday congratulating Gatto on the win.

His endorsement for the race, Glendale school board member Nayiri Nahabedian, dropped out of the race after losing to Gatto in the April primary.

“I’m very pleased that my former seat in the Assembly will be filled by our Democratic candidate, and I congratulate Mike Gatto on his victory,” Krekorian said in the statement. “I look forward to working with him to serve out mutual constituents, and I stand ready to help him succeed in the Assembly to benefit the communities that I was so proud to serve.”



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