Hannah-Beth Jackson conceded the race for the 19th District State Senate seat to Republican Tony Strickland Wednesday after three weeks of counting ballots left the two opponents less than a thousand votes apart.
With a total of 414,652 votes counted in the 19th District – a constituency that includes most of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and a small portion of northern Los Angeles County – Strickland leads by 912 votes. However, only a few hundred ballots remained uncounted as of last Wednesday, making victory mathematically impossible for Jackson.
Jackson’s concession marks the end of a three-week roller coaster ride as officials from all three represented counties scrambled to count tens of thousands of ballots which were left uncounted on Election Night. While Jackson was initially declared the winner on Election Night by a margin of 103 votes, the scores of provisional and absentee ballots tallied over the last three weeks eventually gave the advantage to Strickland.
Strickland won with 50.11 percent of the vote, or 207,782 votes.
The newly elected Republican is due to be sworn in today in Sacramento, joining his fellow recently elected state senators and assembly members.
The contest was one of the most expensive legislative races in California history, with over $10 million spending. Despite enthusiasm amongst Democrats this election cycle, the Republican Strickland held a distinct advantage financially, with around $6 million spent compared to Jackson’s approximate $4 million in spending.
Jackson won handily in Santa Barbara County, defeating Strickland by over 15,000 votes with 55.47 percent of the vote. Strickland, however, took both Ventura and Los Angeles Counties by margins of approximately 11,000 and 4,500 votes, respectively.
Strickland is a former state assembly member and represented California’s 37th District for six years, before he was term-limited out of office.
Jackson also previously served in the state assembly for six years. She was succeeded by current 35th District Assemblyman Pedro Nava, who won his reelection Nov. 4.