Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) was at his desk in the House of Representatives for a short one-week session before the Thanksgiving recess. He plans to return again after Thanksgiving for the final session of the 111th Congress.
Also in Washington was McNerney's Republican challenger in the still-undecided 11th District race, David Harmer. Harmer was attending orientation briefings for new members of Congress.
"Since we don't yet know whether I'll become a new member of Congress, I'm participating with a unique blend of apprehension and hope," Harmer said in an email to supporters.
On Wednesday, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen reported on just how undecided this race still might be.
As of 3:57 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, she said the latest vote count in the 11th Congressional District race continued to show McNerney with less than a 1 percent lead over his Republican challenger David Harmer and with thousands of ballots yet to be counted.
The vote as of Tuesday afternoon showed McNerney and Harmer both with slight numerical gains but with no change in the percent of total votes received. According to Bowen, McNerney as of Tuesday afternoon had received 111,338 votes, or still at 47.9%; Harmer had 109,581 votes, or 47.0%; and American Independent party candidate David Christensen as of late yesterday had received 11,931 votes, or 5.1%.
Still, McNerney remains convinced that he has won re-election to a third term in Congress.
"The trend is very clear," McNerney said. "The lead is insurmountable."
Harmer, however, disagreed, saying it would be premature to concede while the votes are still being counted.
"(Monday) night, at a dinner for the Republican freshmen in the Capitol's magnificent Statuary Hall, I sat just a few feet from the site of John Quincy Adams's old desk as Republican leader and soon-to-be Speaker of the House John Boehner spoke of our charge from the American people," Harmer said.
"To ensure an accurate count of the remaining ballots, to prepare for a possible recount, and to do our best to complete the campaign successfully, we need to raise much more money," Harmer said in a message to his supporters. "If you haven't already done so, please consider contributing to our recount fund. Contributions of any amount are welcome, appreciated, and needed."