Bowen slips further behind Huey as ballot counting nears end in race to succeed Jane Harman [Updated]
With fewer than 200 votes to be counted, Secretary of State Debra Bowen has slipped further behind Republican businessman Craig Huey in the race to succeed former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice).
[Updated at 4:14 p.m. On Thursday afternoon, Bowen conceded and issued a statement to supporters thanking them for their hard work and support.
“Since Tuesday’s election, my staff, legal advisors and election experts participated in the ballot review process to ensure a full and fair vote count was conducted. It is clear now that I will not be in the runoff and I congratulate Janice Hahn and Craig Huey,” Bowen said.
[She added she would not be endorsing in the runoff, citing her longstanding policy as secretary of state not to favor one candidate over another.]
Huey and Bowen, a Democrat, are battling for a place in the July 12 runoff between the top two finishers.
Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn, also a Democrat, finished first among 16 candidates on Tuesday's special election ballot but fell far short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff with the second-place finisher. On election night, Huey finished second, leading Bowen by 206 votes, with more than 10,000 ballots not yet counted.
On Thursday, county elections officials announced that they had processed an additional 10,327 ballots in the 36th Congressional District race. Hahn remained in first place, with 15,607 votes and Huey increased his lead over Bowen by 750 votes, 14,096 to 13,346.
The counting will not be finished until Friday but elections officials acknowledge that it is mathematically impossible for Bowen to overtake Huey with the remaining ballots. Her next option would be to seek a recount and she will have five days after the tally is finished to do so.
Results and updates are available on the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's website, lavote.net.
-- Jean Merl
Photos: Debra Bowen, left, Craig Huey and Janice Hahn. Credits: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press; Ringo H.W. Chiu / For The Times; Gus Ruelas / Associated Press