Mike Gatto was sworn-in Thursday to the Assembly even as his Republican opponent, Sunder Ramani, continued to put off conceding the race until thousands of uncounted ballots were tabulated.
Gatto (D-Silver Lake) was confirmed during a ceremony at the state capital following his special-election victory on Tuesday over Ramani with 58.7% of the vote. With 100% of precincts reporting, Ramani was behind by 6,155 votes with 41.4% of the vote.
“The Assembly, including all of the Republicans, voted to seat me today,” Gatto said Thursday. “If Mr. Ramani has not conceded yet, it’s a shame. It would appear to me that he’s holding out for vanity’s sake. That’s a sad end to the campaign.”
But on Wednesday, Ramani’s campaign manager, John Thomas, 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.
Despite Gatto’s swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, Thomas said they would continue to wait for the final vote tallies.
“There are still close to 9,000 ballots outstanding potentially,” Thomas said. “Last time I checked, he didn’t win by 9,000 votes.”
But with Gatto ahead by 17 percentage points, nearly all of the uncounted ballots would have to go for Ramani to affect any change in the outcome.
Gatto, 35, fills the vacancy created when Paul Krekorian left after winning a seat on the Los Angeles City Council. The 43rd Assembly District includes parts of Los Angeles, Burbank and Glendale.
Gatto was accompanied by his wife, Danielle, and his baby daughter, Elliana. His mother and father were also among those in the Assembly gallery.
“I am very honored to be a part of this body and I realize I have a lot to learn,” Gatto said after being sworn into office by Speaker John A. Pérez. “So I will be turning to each and all of you to do a lot of learning in the days ahead.”