While it appears that California Assemblyman Heath Flora will cruise easily to another two-year term in Sacramento – amassing more than 66 percent of the overall votes cast in the race for California’s 12th Assembly District race at this point – he’ll have to wait until November before he gets the official nod.
Flora, a Republican, is currently holding a lead of nearly 19,000 votes over Democratic challenger and current Lathrop City Councilman Paul Akinjo according to the California Secretary of State’s Office.
The sprawling district, which currently holds a Republican advantage of more than five points, has nearly 250,000 voters and extends from Manteca east to the other side of Oakdale and runs along the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills from Lodi down to Turlock. A small spur includes Manteca and Ripon, where Flora lives, and includes a rural portion of the South County.
Because of California’s “Top Two” primary system, the top two candidates in a state race, regardless of party affiliation, move on to a November runoff – even in the event that there are only two candidates in the race.
The race for California’s 13th Assembly District, however, will be considerably closer between now and when the final votes are tabulated.
The 13th District, which holds a nearly 20-point Democratic advantage, is currently a three-way race – between Stockton City Councilwoman Christina Fugazi, San Joaquin County Supervisor Kathy Miller, and former Supervisor Carlos Villapudua – where just over 1,000 votes separates all three candidates.
If the election were to be certified today, Villapudua and Fugazi would advance to a November runoff, but the slim margin between the candidates could change significantly in the coming weeks as thousands of outstanding ballots are counted and added to the routinely-scheduled updates.
While the 12th District race was relatively straightforward in terms of campaigning, the district to the north – which includes most of Stockton as well as Weston Ranch – has been rife with mudslinging, almost all of which has been paid for by dark money groups backing one particular candidate over another.
All three candidates in the 13th District are registered Democrats.
Because Assembly districts often times encompass multiple counties, the California Secretary of State’s website offers complete coverage of the races as updates in ballot numbers are released by the respective counties they contain.
The current representative for the 13th District, Susan Talamantes Eggman, is terming out in November and is running for the California State Senate seat being vacated by Cathleen Galgiani.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.