Bowen Concedes Runoff Spot to Huey in Calif. Special Election

Posted May 19, 2011 at 6:19pm

Updated: 8:05 p.m.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen (D) conceded Thursday that she did not receive enough votes to advance to the runoff for California’s 36th district special election.

“Since Tuesday’s election, my staff, legal advisors and election experts participated in the ballot review process to ensure a full and fair vote count was conducted,” Bowen said in a statement after the Los Angeles County registrar released updated vote tallies. “It is clear now that I will not be in the runoff.”

She congratulated businessman Craig Huey (R) and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn (D), the apparent top-two finishers. She also thanked Dean Logan, the Los Angeles County clerk and registrar-recorder, and his office for “handling the final count so quickly, and for conducting this election so professionally, as is their standard.”

Huey was ahead of Bowen by 750 votes, with about 200 more to be counted, Logan wrote Thursday afternoon on Twitter. The update put Hahn in the lead with 24.6 percent, followed by Huey with 22.2 percent and Bowen with 21.1 percent. The top two finishers of the 16-candidate, all-party primary advance to the July 12 runoff, and Hahn is heavily favored to defeat Huey in the solidly Democratic district. Bowen declined to endorse either candidate Thursday, citing her position as California’s secretary of state.

Hahn and Bowen entered the race as the frontrunners to replace former Rep. Jane Harman (D), and Hahn thanked Bowen in a statement Thursday “for running a good and tough campaign.” Bowen, who won endorsements from national progressive and environmental groups, appears to have been hurt by the 9 percent of the vote that went to anti-war activist Marcy Winograd.

Huey spent $500,000 of his own money, won endorsements from Members of Congress and earned well more than half of the Republican vote.