Democratic former Assemblyman Tom Umberg declared victory today in his bid to unseat Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove.
The district is largely in Orange County, covering cities such as Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Seal Beach, but it also stretches into East Long Beach.
Umberg has been slowly extending his narrow lead over Nguyen as vote-counting continued from the Nov. 6 election. As of Monday, he had a lead of 2,523 votes.
But Umberg said the latest numbers now show him with a 2,802-vote edge, continuing an upward trend that his campaign says is unlikely to reverse.
“I am proud to announce that our campaign for state Senate will be victorious once the final tally of votes is completed,” Umberg said in a statement. “I am grateful to the countless supporters and volunteers who worked tirelessly to help us get across the finish line. We truly could not have achieved this victory without their hard work and support.”
Nguyen, who has represented the district for four years, has not yet conceded defeat.
In the months leading up to the election, Nguyen faced attacks from a fellow Orange County Vietnamese Republican leader.
Nguyen claimed Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do criticized her work and called on voters to recall her primarily through Vietnamese language radio, according to Voice of OC.
Out of the nearly 400,000 voters in the district, slightly more than 62,000 identify as Vietnamese, the publication reported.
On election night, Umberg trailed Nguyen by 7 percent, or nearly 11,000 votes, but he steadily closed the gap and took the lead as vote-counting continued.
In Long Beach, Umberg received 16,733 votes while Nguyen received 13,718, according to Los Angeles County election results. The results are scheduled to be certified Friday.
Umberg, a former federal prosecutor and Army veteran, served in the Assembly from 1990-94 and 2004-06.
Umberg has faced off against Nguyen before. He placed third in a 2007 special election for a vacated Orange County supervisor seat—about 1,200 votes behind Nguyen who won, Voice of OC reported.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust put in me by the voters of the 34th Senate District to represent them in the state Senate,” Umberg said. “I’m looking forward to getting to work and delivering for our community.”
Stephanie Rivera covers immigration and the north, west and central parts of Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.
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