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Assembly election: Incumbent Baker's lead down to 159 votes

Key results update due Friday as Contra Costa plans large tally release

Democrat challenger Rebecca Bauer-Kahan continues to close the gap on Republican Assemblywoman Catharine Baker in the race to represent Pleasanton and the rest of State Assembly District 16, with the incumbent's lead narrowed to 159 votes as of the latest update Thursday afternoon.

Baker, a second-term incumbent from Dublin, held an early 2.4% edge at the end of Election Night, but that margin has dwindled as more vote-by-mail and provisional ballots have been counted. Now the tally sits at 50.05% for Baker and 49.95% for Bauer-Kahan , according to totals posted to the California Secretary of State's website Thursday.

Bauer-Kahan, a political newcomer and attorney from Orinda, has gained ground each day the ballot results have been updated by Alameda and Contra Costa counties' election officials -- and significant strides compared to the June primary election, when she finished 13.2% behind the Republican in a two-candidate race.

Friday afternoon could tell the tale for the ultimate outcome.

While Alameda County has updated its results after completing counts each day, Contra Costa County has not released updated figures since last Friday, with officials there saying they would spend this week tallying the nearly 110,000 ballots pending countywide and then announce the new results this Friday afternoon.

Bauer-Kahan has held a narrow lead in Contra Costa (50.2% to 49.8%) and has cut Baker's Alameda edge down to 50.3% to 49.7%. There are more registered voters in Contra Costa's portion of District 16 than Alameda's portion -- overall, the district consists of Tri-Valley and Lamorinda communities and part of Walnut Creek.

The Assembly District 16 election is the closest contest of all state or federal elected positions in California.

As results begin to solidify statewide, the Democrats have already regained a supermajority in the Assembly, with 57 districts going to the Democrats and 20 set for the Republicans -- plus, the two other undecided races are leaning Democrat with ballots still to count.

Local election results must be certified by Dec. 7.

Bauer-Kahan is an attorney and married mother of school-age children who entered her first Assembly election with school volunteer and nonprofit service experience, but no elected or local government service time, trying to offer District 16 a new type of political voice in Sacramento.

That was strikingly similar background to Baker's in 2014 when the Republican attorney won her first-ever elected position by defeating union-backed Democrat and former Dublin mayor Tim Sbranti for the open Assembly seat after Democrat Joan Buchanan termed out. Baker retained the seat for the GOP in 2016, comfortably defeating Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio, a former Pleasanton City Council member.

In the primary election this past June, Baker earned 56.6% of the vote to Bauer-Kahan's 43.2%, but the Democrat appears to have been buoyed by the "blue wave" anticipated at the polls in the required runoff this November.

During the campaign this fall, Baker tried to position herself as an independent voice who delivers results for the communities in her district and who is willing to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to achieve key constituent priorities.

Bauer-Kahan presented herself as a Democrat who would always represent the voice of District 16 residents, compared to Baker's record, especially on women's rights, environmental protection and gun control.

The Baker campaign cited her voting history as progressive and bipartisan, while Bauer-Kahan backers argue the incumbent hadn't demonstrated enough consistency.

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Comments

24 people like this
Posted by Debra
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 16, 2018 at 9:20 am

Never ceases to amaze how many people in Cali are so ignorant. Democrats are destroying California. Over regulated, over priced, over taxed. Enjoy the morons you keep voting into office.


22 people like this
Posted by Elliott
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 16, 2018 at 9:40 am

Nice commentary @Debra a bird-brained comment from the bird-lands. I guess you're excluding your spirit and soul from the state. Please don't let the door hit you in the back... on your way out. The state will be a better place without you.

Hugs the neighbors!

Elliott


10 people like this
Posted by GMD
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 16, 2018 at 10:05 am

Fly, fly away Debra! It’s as easy as that if you truly don’t like “Cali” people.


14 people like this
Posted by MikeyP
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Nov 16, 2018 at 10:20 am

Love seeing Baker's slim(y) lead dwindle more and more each day! Hoping for the Blue Wave to overtake her at some point today. Goodbye GOP!


9 people like this
Posted by MichaelB
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 16, 2018 at 10:54 am

MichaelB is a registered user.

"Bauer-Kahan presented herself as a Democrat who would always represent the voice of District 16 residents, compared to Baker's record, especially on women's rights, environmental protection and gun control."


Not my voice and just what we do not need. Yet another "progressive" spokesperson for additional gutting of the 2nd Amendment, expecting criminals to care about/comply with new laws, and predictably rationalizing legal firearms availability/possession by the law abiding as the "cause" of violence.

I guess Baker supporting almost all of the gun control measures that Democrats wanted while advocating some of her own was just not good enough?


4 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2018 at 12:04 pm

Well if Baker loses the Democrats will again have a super majority and then maybe we can see some tax increases and fees imposed in lieu of property taxes so that we can start investing in our state and take care of our retirees. r27fm


10 people like this
Posted by Brad
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 16, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Brad is a registered user.

Catherine Baker has done outstanding work both for the District and the entire State.
We need more of her common sense and Good Government concept and much less partisan politics,
We are all better with Catherine in office.


10 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2018 at 12:29 pm

Democrats are driving retirees along with middle class out of the state with high taxes And yes I am leaving as soon as I retire


2 people like this
Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2018 at 2:04 pm

MichaelB

You brought up some important points.

Since Baker has voted with the Democrats lockstep in the things you mentioned, what's the point?

I'm an independent voter and this year I left the Assembly slot empty as I don't see a point of voting for Baker if she is just using the GOP party registration to get on the ballot like Michael Bloomberg did for years in NYC.


Like this comment
Posted by MichaelB
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 16, 2018 at 2:44 pm

MichaelB is a registered user.

"You brought up some important points.Since Baker has voted with the Democrats lockstep in the things you mentioned, what's the point?"

Bauer-Kahan would be worse. A rubber stamp for anything and everything the gun control (not the "gun safety") movement wants.

She criticized Baker for not supporting the mandatory "high capacity" magazine turn in measure (for law abiding citizens). This after California passed the original restriction in 2000 - and promised legal owners at the time they could keep what they had owned/had nothing to worry about.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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