Democrat TJ Cox has pulled within a scant 930 votes of David Valadao, the Republican incumbent, in the 21st Congressional District, Secretary of State’s office show.
Cox, of Fresno, has 51,151 votes, or 49.5 percent, to Valadao’s 52,081, which is 50.5 percent.
An undetermined number of provisional ballots from four counties remain to be counted.
The 21st Congressional District, which includes areas of Fresno County, Kern County, Kings County and Tulare County and includes Hanford, Delano, Wasco, Shafter, Lamont and southeast Bakersfield, is 71 percent Hispanic and Democrats have a 45 percent to 28 percent registration advantage over Republicans, yet it has returned Republican Valadao to Congress three previous times.
The race was expected to be close. FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver gave Cox a 64.34 percent probability of winning, but the Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball say the district should go to Valadao.
Valadao, a Hanford dairyman, was elected in 2010 to represent California’s 30th State Assembly District. In 2012, Valadao was elected to represent California’s 21st Congress District.
Cox is an engineer and small businessman who created the Central Valley Fund, which raises money for projects in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the Central Valley.