Just 206 Votes Separate Democratic CA Sec. of State from Republican Candidate in Bid for Spot in Run-Off to Replace Rep. Jane Harman in CA’s 36th

Narrow margin, 10,000 still-to-be-tallied absentee ballots to test L.A. County’s Bowen-approved op-scan system, again…

By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2011 1:33pm

Yesterday, California’s Republican-supported Prop 14 — which voters approved last June, changing the state’s separate party primary system to a single primary for all candidates, with the top two vote-getters going on to a run-off election if none receives more than 50% of the vote — had its first official try-out in the Special Election to replace the resigning Blue Dog Democrat and unrepentant war supporter Rep. Jane Harman in the state’s 36th Congressional District.

While similarly “Blue Dog” Democratic candidate and L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn was in the lead last night as results were reported throughout the evening, it was the battle for second place, and therefore the right to participate in the run-off, that presented a real late-night nail-biter twist as unofficial precinct results were completed in the wee hours.

With Democratic CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen running second and seemingly headed for the run-off with Hahn for most of the night, according to L.A. County’s running totals, the final unverified results inched self-financed Republican Craig Huey into the second place spot by just 206 votes at evening’s end, after all 261 precincts in the very Democratic-leaning CA-36 were tallied.

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