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Mother Lode Assembly Seat Runoff Could See Two Republicans

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Sonora, CA — Two members of the Republican party are currently the top vote-getters in the Assembly District 8 race, which covers the Mother Lode region.

The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will move on to the November General Election. The seat is currently held by Republican James Patterson of Fresno County, who is terming out at the end of the year.

Former GOP US Congressman George Radanovich of Mariposa is currently the top vote-getter with 36%, and for much of Tuesday evening, Democrat Caleb Helsel of Fresno was in second place. However, as of this morning, the California Secretary of State’s Office reports that Republican David Tangipa, a real estate broker, and former Tight End with the Fresno State Bulldogs football team, has jumped into second place. It is still a very tight contest, as Tangipa only holds a 35-vote lead over Helsel.

79,789 votes have already been tabulated in the district, which includes the counties of Tuolumne, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa, and Mono. Thousands of additional ballots will be counted later this week, so the race for second is still too close to call.

A similar situation played out two years ago when eight candidates ran for the Mother Lode’s Senate District Five race and the top two vote-getters were from the same party, Democrats, Tim Robertson and Marie Alvarado Gil. Robertson won the primary (in which Republican Radanovich placed third) and Alvarado Gil later won the General Election.

There should be a clearer picture of the District 8 runoff by late this week.

The Mother Lode preferred Radanovich in Tuesday’s election.

In Tuolumne County, Radanovich received 48%, Helsel 34%, and Tangipa 14%.

In Calaveras County, Radanovich had 38%, Helsel 34% and Tangipa 22%.

Tangipa received a boost by placing first in his home county, the higher populated region of Fresno.

Click here to view the election results page.