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Elections update: Cox, Valadao race gets even closer, other races stay steady

The number of outstanding ballots left to count in Kern County stood at less than 25,000 on Wednesday, according to the most recent information on the California Secretary of State's website. 

That outstanding count includes about 2,700 mail-in ballots and 20,000 provisional ballots cast on Election Day. 

Kern County Registrar of Voters Mary Bedard said those numbers include about 2,500 curable ballots, where voters made a mistake such as failing to sign their ballot. Voters have until two days before the county Elections Division certifies the election — planned for Nov. 30 — to cure the challenges.

As results have continued to trickle in over the past week, not much has changed.

In the 21st Congressional District, incumbent T.J. Cox, a Democrat, is gaining ground, bit by bit, on challenger David Valadao, a Republican, but the race remains incredibly close. Valadao's lead has fallen to just 1,800 votes from more than 2,500 previously. He currently has 50.6 percent of the votes districtwide to Cox's 49.4 percent.

Results in the race are expected to continue trickling in as Kings County is expected to resume counting its outstanding ballots this weekend after having a shutdown due to a COVID-19 exposure. Looking just at the part of the district in Kern, Cox had 58.8 percent of the vote to Valadao's 41.2 percent. The 21st Congressional District race has voters in parts of Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern, all of which need to report results.

Other updates include:

• In the 23rd Congressional District, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, holds a 68,000-vote lead over challenger Kim Mangone, a Democrat. McCarthy has 61.8 percent of the vote to Mangone's 38.2 percent. McCarthy had a higher percentage of the votes looking just at Kern, at 63.7 percent, over Mangone's 36.3 percent in Kern.

• In the 32nd State Assembly District, incumbent Democrat Rudy Salas has 59.5 percent of the votes districtwide, and challenger Republican Todd Cotta has 40.5 percent. In his home base in Kern, Salas has 70.6 percent of the vote to Cotta's 29.4 percent. 

• In the 34th State Assembly District, where the district is entirely contained in Kern, incumbent Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, has 68 percent of the vote to Democratic challenger Julie Solis' 32 percent.

• For Bakersfield City Council Ward 1, Eric Arias has 74.5 percent of the vote to Gilberto De La Torre's 25.5 percent.

• For Bakersfield City Council Ward 6, Patty Gray has 46.2 percent of the vote; Jesse Quijada has 30 percent; Gregory Tatum has 19.6 percent; and Titus Stevens has 4.2.

The California Secretary of State's election results website reminds the public that "results will change throughout the canvass period as vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots (including conditional voter registration provisional ballots), and other ballots are tallied." Results are to be certified by Dec. 11.