Ramani holds out for final count

Glendale News Press

Sunder Ramani on Thursday refused to concede the special election for the 43rd Assembly District to Democrat Mike Gatto, even after elections officials said the total number of uncounted ballots was less than the 6,155-vote gap between the two men.

On Thursday, Monica Flores, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County registrar/recorder said there were about 4,000 uncounted ballots, far less than the current vote difference.

But Ramani dug in his heels, with the Republican's campaign manager contending he had heard figures of uncounted ballots as high as 7,000. Campaign staffers were observing elections officials as the counting took place, said John Thomas.

"We're going to sit tight until we know the total number," he said.

Ballot counting was slated to begin today of the remaining ballots started today, and updated results could take several days, Flores said.

Meanwhile Gatto, accompanied by his wife, Danielle, and his baby daughter, Elliana, was sworn-in Thursday at a Capitol Hill ceremony by Speaker John A. Pérez.

"The Assembly, including all of the Republicans, voted to seat me today," Gatto said. "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."

Gatto fills the vacancy Paul Krekorian left in January after winning a seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

The 43rd Assembly District includes parts of Los Angeles, Burbank and Glendale.

He will run as the incumbent in November's general election for a full two-year term. Ramani's campaign has also declined to say whether he will run until they have a better handle on the uncounted ballots. After months of contentious campaigning, Gatto has said he plans to focus on his new role, not the looming November election, regardless of whether or not Ramani stays in the race.

"At this point I have a duty to the people of the 43rd District to represent them in a governmental capacity," he said Wednesday. "That will be my priority no matter what."

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