Harmer refuses to concede in 11th District race

November 11, 2010 8:09:51 PM PST
Republican David Harmer is refusing to concede defeat so far in a very tight East Bay congressional race. Harmer trails Democrat incumbent Jerry McNerney by just under 1,700 votes and with thousands of ballots yet to be counted, there is a reason why McNerney is so eager to claim victory.

When the results were handed in Wednesday night from last big block of ballots in San Joaquin County, McNerney's supporters shared a group hug. Harmer got more votes in San Joaquin and Contra Costa counties, but not enough to overcome McNerney's lead in Alameda and Santa Clara counties.

"The votes are in, the results are clear, the voters of this district have chosen me to be the congressman for the next session," said McNerney.

On Thursday the Democratic incumbent told reporters he's got an insurmountable lead.

"It would take a very big, big change in the trend for my opponent to get enough votes to overcome that 1,600 vote lead," said McNerney.

Still, Harmer's campaign isn't conceding. His campaign manager Cameron Wilkinson issued a statement saying, "Thousands of ballots remain to be counted, so it's not over. We'll see the process through to the end."

"I think Mr. Harmer is absolutely within his rights and it makes a lot of sense for him to just wait and see before he concedes," says ABC7's political analyst Bruce Cain.

They've got to finish the vote count anyway in the four counties that make up the 11th District. That will happen sometime next week or the week after.

Harmer is already asking his supporters to help him fund a possible recount. Cain believes Thursday's victory announcement by McNerney may be an effort to discourage any donations to that cause.


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