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Vargas declares victory in Democratic Senate primary

July 12, 2010 |  9:00 am

Former Assemblyman Juan Vargas has declared victory in the Democratic primary in the 40th Senate district.

The Desert Sun reports, "Vargas finished the race with 24,282 votes across the district’s three-county area, a 22-vote lead on Assemblywoman Mary Salas, who had previously declared victory.

"He had been up by 12 votes earlier before the final batch of ballots was counted, but Salas once led the race by 336 votes."

"It's been a long road, but we've reached the finish line," Vargas said in a statement released Saturday night.

Vargas' apparent victory is a big win for business groups who backed the more moderate Vargas over Salas (D-San Diego). Salas had the support of Senate leader Darrell Steinberg.

There is no provision for an automatic recount, but anyone can pay for a count on their own. Steinberg has said he will not fund a recount. Salas' campaign did not return calls from the Sun seeking comment.

The district contains all of Imperial County and parts of Riverside and San Diego counties.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento