Democratic Rep. Mike Levin holds on to his coastal Southern California district seat with a razor-thin 1,000-vote plurality.
It’s the closest election in 50 years and the longest in state history.
A handful of Republicans were considered — including former state Assembly speaker Richard Bloom, former Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese and former San Diego County Supervisor John Fabian — but none of them have a path to victory.
The race was too close to call Tuesday night and could be thrown into court later in the week, delaying the final outcome by weeks. There have been dozens of lawsuits filed, including a federal suit from the League of Women Voters. If Democratic challenger J. David Cox wins, it will be the first time in 20 years that a Democrat has not only won but also held a California congressional seat that was lost in the previous census.
“We are very confident we’ll win this seat,” Cox said in an interview. He did not rule out filing a lawsuit on the spot if he loses. “I’d be willing to do anything to get my party back.”
If he does sue, Cox would likely get a ruling in his favor. California law does not let a court order the election of a party to be invalid. He could seek to have the recount invalidated.
This race presents a rare anomaly in how California races are covered, where the focus is more on the individual than the party. As the Los Angeles Times’s Chris Cillizza wrote Sunday, “You don’t talk about the elephant in the room: Republicans who were out of power for several terms are winning primaries for Congress.”
Republicans took control of the U.S. House in 2018 after a sweeping win in the 2018 midterm elections. If a state has no incumbent, the party must secure at least two wins to retain control of the House. That rule, often called the “Majority Rule,” is designed to ensure that each party has a representative in Congress.
In California, that means either that the party controls the majority of the congressional seats