Democrat McNerney Retains Seat

Posted November 24, 2010 at 4:50pm

After an extended vote count, California Democrat Jerry McNerney has secured a third term in Congress, leaving just one outstanding House race in the 2010 midterm elections.

The Associated Press called the 11th district race for McNerney over Republican David Harmer on Wednesday, more than three weeks after Election Day. The victory keeps the Republican midterm pickups at 63, with the New York 1st district race between Rep. Tim Bishop (D) and challenger Randy Altschuler still undecided.

McNerney is the second Democratic incumbent in the state to be declared the winner in the last two days, following Rep. Jim Costa’s defeat of Republican Andy Vidak on Tuesday.
McNerney declared victory two weeks ago, when campaign manager Doug Greven pronounced that the Congressman held an “insurmountable lead” of 1,681 votes. But Harmer, a lawyer and candidate in the neighboring 10th district special election last year, refused to concede.
As of Wednesday morning, McNerney led by 2,475 votes, and only Contra Costa County still had ballots to count. With only about 2,500 provisional ballots left to go, it will likely be impossible for Harmer to make up the difference. Contra Costa Registrar of Voters Steve Weir said the county will not finish until Monday or Tuesday. All elections in the state must be certified by Tuesday.

About 52 percent of the 11th district’s votes come from San Joaquin County, which Harmer dominated by about 4,500 votes. However, his lead there was not enough to overcome McNerney’s advantage in Alameda and Santa Clara counties, where he was ahead by a combined 7,000 votes.

So far the two are almost evenly split in Contra Costa County.