California Congressional Race Deadlocked

( – On April 4, California election officials finished counting ballots from the March 5 primary, resulting in the state’s first tie in a congressional race, sending three Democratic candidates to face off in the general election in November.

Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo received 38,489 votes, finishing first in the March 5 primary. However, two candidates for California’s 16th Congressional District tied for second as each received 30,249 votes.

Regardless of their political party, the top two candidates in California who receive the most votes move on to the general election. However, the tie for second place means those two candidates advance, leaving voters to choose between three candidates in November.

Paul Mitchell, of Political Data Inc., called the tie “a fantastically unlikely outcome.”

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber will certify the results on April 12 if neither Assemblymember Evan Low nor Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian seeks a recount, which would cost as much as $32,000 per day for what could be a 10-day long process. It does not appear as though Low or Simitian will seek a recount. Voters in California can also request a recount up to five days after the counting finishes, although they must pay for the associated costs.

In a statement, Simitian said, “This is what a functioning democracy looks like.” He added that the last month of vote counting has been “a cliffhanger, a rollercoaster, a wild ride.”

In an April 4 post on Twitter, Low wrote, “It’s a special ‘Tie’ day!” along with a photo of him wearing a purple tie.

In a separate post on Twitter, Low stated that the “historically close race” is proof “that every vote really counts.”

The three candidates were among the 11 who were running to replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, 81, who, following her 30-year career, announced in November 2023 that she would not seek re-election.

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