19th District tightening again -- too late for Jackson

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With new vote tallies released this afternoon by Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, Republican Tony Strickland's lead over Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson has shrunk to 903 votes.

But elections officials tell my colleagues (I'm off this week) that only a few hundred ballots remain. The race may now belong to Strickland.

It's possible he will be able to claim the seat in time to take the oath on Monday when other new members of the Legislature are sworn in. However, Democratic Party officials will have to decide whether a .02 percent margin is close enough that it's worth forking over a million bucks or so for a recount.

Meanwhile, in the Legislature's other election cliff-hanger, in an Assembly race south of Sacramento, Democrat Alyson Huber, who had trailed Republican Jack Sieglock since election night, surged to an unexpected lead and is now the apparent winner in that race. If that is the case, Democrats will hold 51 seats in the Assembly, three short of a two-thirds majority. In the Senate, the outcome of the Strickland-Jackson race will make the difference between 25 or 26 Democratic Senate seats -- either two seats or one shy of a two-thirds majority.

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95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at therdt@vcstar.com