Denham and Hernandez win in Central Valley congressional race
Central Valley voters were choosing Republican Rep. Jeff Denham and former NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez, a Democrat, to compete for a newly drawn congressional district this fall.
Although the 10th Congressional District leans Republican because of its conservative voting patterns, Democrats enjoy a small registration edge. The district was expected to become a battleground as the two parties fight for control of the House of Representatives.
There was no incumbent House member living within the district until Denham changed residences to seek reelection there. Democrats recruited Hernandez, who drew a lot of attention when he returned to the district to announce his run.
Chad Condit, son of former Democratic Rep. Gary Condit, ran as an independent. He didn’t have nearly as much in his campaign treasury as Denham and Hernandez, but the former political consultant and state Senate aide had a good campaign organization and strong name recognition.
The other candidate running with no party affiliation was Troy McComak, a small business owner and former research and development scientist for an environmental cleanup firm. Another Democrat in the race was lawyer and certified public accountant Michael J. Barkley.
District registration is 41% Democratic, 38% Republican, and 16% of voters state no party preference.
Voters approved the 2008 gay marriage ban by a two-to-one margin in this district and in 2010 chose Republicans Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina over Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Barbara Boxer, respectively.
Photo: A voter casts his ballot in Venice in 2010. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times