David Harmer, a San Ramon attorney and Republican candidate for Congress in the 11th District, conceded defeat Friday in a brief telephone call to Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton).
Harmer called McNerney at his office in Washington shortly before noon to congratulate the congressman. Harmer made no statement to the media but his office sent out an email posting an article this morning by Lisa Vorderbrueggen in the Contra Costa Times who reported that Harmer "has no plans to run for public office again."
Harmer did not dispute the report. There's been no mention of the campaign's end or Harmer's concession on his Website.
McNerney declared victory Nov. 11 after analyzing the trend lines of the close vote on Nov. 2. Thousands of provisional and absentee ballots carried into polling places on Election Day remained uncounted even then, but McNerney, who holds a PhD in mathematics, said his analysis showed that his lead at the time of less than 1% was "insurmountable."
That proved to be the case, with California Secretary of State Debra Bowen reporting last Tuesday that all votes had been counted. In the end, McNerney received 115,361 votes, or 48% of the total number of votes cast, against Harmer's 112,703 votes, or 46.9%. American Independent Party candidate David Christensen received 12,439 votes, or 5.1%.
Bowen said her office will officially certify the outcome next Monday.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) had named Harmer a "Young Gun"—the top status in their candidate rating system. And, for Republicans, he came with good credentials. His father, John Harmer, served as Lieutenant Governor under Ronald Reagan. Early in his career, David Harmer took his expertise in constitutional law to the Pacific Legal Foundation, where he defended property rights and other freedoms. He was also a Resident Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and his book on education reform was published by the Cato Institute.
"It's hard not to feel as though you have let people down," Harmer told Vorderbrueggen before he conceded. "But disappointment is different from regret. You never regret playing the game just because you lost."