Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) was able to defend his seat against Republican challenger and Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who “dumped” President-elect Donald Trump, knowing full well that his decision could cost him the election.
Last month, Jones issued a statement explaining why he felt he needed to abandon his party’s nominee.
He said: “Mr. Trump’s comments that were disclosed yesterday discuss conduct which is at best disgusting, and at worst criminal. I can no longer explain to my daughters why I am voting for Mr. Trump. As such, I will be voting for neither candidate for president.”
Jones noted, “it will cost me votes,” though how many votes it costs “will remain to be seen.”
Jones conceded to Bera in a letter he published in the Carmichael Times a few days ago. According to the Sacramento Bee, he conceded after Sacramento County reported that nearly 20,000 more votes had been tallied and that Bera had increased his lead over Jones to 6,008 votes, 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent:
A week and a half after the election, there have finally been enough votes counted to make it nearly impossible for me to overcome the deficit. As such, I conceded the election tonight to Congressman Bera. Although there were difficult aspects of the race, I do not regret running and am extremely proud of the campaign that we ran… I am proud to continue to have the opportunity to serve as your faithful Sheriff!
His concession came several days after he sent out a tweet, with a full statement attached, stating that the race was “far from over.”
— Scott Jones (@ScottJonesCA7) November 9, 2016
Bera won despite having lost the endorsement of a major union over his support of trade policies — specifically, his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Also, his elderly father, Babulal Bera, 84, was sentenced in August to one year in federal prison for providing straw donations to his son’s campaign. The younger Bera maintained that he did not know of his father’s illegal activity.
Meanwhile, in California’s heavily-Democratic 25th Congressional District, Republican incumbent Steve Knight has held on to his U.S. House seat, beating out Democratic challenger Bryan Caforio 54-46 percent.
Caforio congratulated Knight in a statement: “While I’m disappointed in the outcome, I wish Congressman Knight nothing but the best as he continues to represent the 25th District. I hope that after this election he takes the time to listen to the community and works to represent the District as a whole, not only those that voted for him.”
According to Southern California Public Radio, no Democrat has held the 25th District seat since 1964. SCPR further notes that “the campaign was bruising” with Democratic groups flooding the district “with cash for mailers and media buys, outspending Republican-allied groups roughly 3-to-1.”
Knight had reportedly referred to the race as “horrible,” adding, “this is not how politics should be in America. Politics should be about what you are going to do for the folks in the district, not how you can tear someone else down. I’m hoping after the rigamarole of this election, we can get back to that.”
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