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Republican Drops Recount in Targeted California Race

Former Capitol Hill aide Lesli Gooch, the Republican who called for a recount in California’s 31st District, has dropped her request and conceded the race Wednesday night.  

“My team of polling data experts has reviewed the results of today’s recount and we have decided not to ask the Registrar of Voters to continue with a second day of recounting ballots,” Gooch said in a statement.  

The recount started Wednesday — three weeks after the Golden State’s primary . Gooch’s campaign is responsible for the cost of the recount under local election rules.  

In California’s primary, the two highest vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. 
Gooch trailed Democrat Pete Aguilar by
209 votes
for the second-place spot in the top-two primary.  Businessman Paul Chabot, a Republican, took the first-place spot in the June 3 primary. If Aguilar came up short for the second-place spot after the recount, Democrats would have been shut out of competing for this seat in November.  

Gooch’s decision puts Democrats in a prime position to pick up the seat this November.  

“I have called Pete Aguilar and Paul Chabot to let them know my decision and to encourage them to put the needs of the Inland Empire above politics,” she continued.  

Last cycle, Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller and another Republican advanced in this district, guaranteeing a Republican win in what should have been a safe Democratic seat. President Barack Obama carried the district with 57 percent in 2012.  

Miller will retire after the 113th Congress, leaving this an open-seat contest in the fall.  

California’s 31st District is rated a Leans Democrat contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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