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Hahn’s Opponent in California Special Election Runoff Unknown

The Los Angeles County registrar said final results of California’s 36th district special election will not be certified and announced until Friday, leaving the makeup of the July 12 runoff unknown.

When every precinct had finished counting late Tuesday night, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn (D) was the only candidate assured of a spot in the runoff and a chance to replace former Rep. Jane Harman (D).

The top two finishers in the 16-candidate all-party field will advance to the runoff, but with more than 9,800 outstanding ballots left to be counted, it was too close to determine whom Hahn’s opponent will be. The remaining ballots include mailed, provisional and withheld ballots.

After nearly 54,000 ballots were counted on election night, Hahn led with 24.7 percent, followed by wealthy businessman Craig Huey (R) with 21.9 percent and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen (D) with 21.5 percent. Just 206 votes separate Huey and Bowen.

If Huey holds on, Hahn will be heavily favored to hold the solidly Democratic district. But if Bowen surpasses Huey, it would set off a two-month sprint between two determined Democrats and their consultant teams.

No other candidate finished with a double-digit percentage in the contest, in which only 15 percent of registered voters turned out.

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