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Salas asks for recount in Southern California senate race

July 12, 2010 |  5:39 pm

Assemblywoman Mary Salas (D-San Diego) has requested a recount of ballots in San Diego County in hopes of overcoming a 22-vote deficit between her and Democrat Juan Vargas in the 40th Senate District.

San Diego county election officials confirmed Salas made the request just before 5 p.m. Monday. Officials in Riverside said they also received a request to tally their ballots again.

The district includes all of Imperial County and parts of Riverside and San Diego counties. San Diego was the only county where Salas outpolled Vargas.

Salas will have to pay for the recount out of her own campaign funds.

Today was the deadline for either camp to request a new count, according to Shannan Velayas, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office.

Recounts need not be district-wide. The 40th Senate District includes all of Imperial and parts of San Diego and Riverside counties. State election law states a "recount may be conducted within any or all of the affected counties."

Vargas received more than $2 million in help from tort reform and other business groups. Salas was backed by a number of labor unions and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).

--Anthony York in Sacramento