As of half-past seven Monday night, Lou Correa has over 50% of the vote, beating opponent Lynn Daucher by 1,302 votes and winning California's 34th Senate seat. He collected more votes than opponents Daucher and Otto Bade combined, ending speculation that Bade's last-minute write-in campaign is what cost Daucher the election. Can we please stop calling him Otto the Spoiler now?
This is an unpleasant turn of events for Daucher, who on Election Night was claiming victory. At the Republican's ill-fated fete, R. Scott Moxley reported her pseudo-victorious boasting:
[Daucher] credited "Team Tran"–fellow Republican Assembly candidate Van Tran's get-out-the-vote operation–with getting her elected. She then ungraciously blasted her opponent Correa, accusing his campaign of dirty tricks, and also credited state party chieftain Dick Ackerman. Finally, before even having her election certified, let alone being sworn in, Daucher went after a higher target.
"My campaign showed how to win Mexican and Vietnamese votes. Thank you. . . . Bye-bye, Loretta."
Daucher was referring, of course, to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, the assumption being that Lynn was now in a place to challenge Sanchez in the future. There's nothing worse than a sore winner, except one who turns out to be a loser.
Before Election Night was over, Daucher and Correa each had 50% of the vote. The race came down to absentee and provisional ballots. At first the edge was Daucher's, but from November 10 through November 16, Correa went from being 883 votes behind to 282 ahead.
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Last week on the Register's political blog, The Buzz, Martin Wisckol tried to squeeze a boast or two out of the new front-runner.
"I've been through this so many times," said Correa, who lost a 1993 Assembly bid by 93 votes. "You have to wait until the last vote is counted. It's close but no cigar."
I tried to cajole a little braggadocio from him, but the most he would give up was: "I thought I was going to lose yesterday and I thought I was going to lose today. So those two days have gone better than I thought. ... I'm cautiously optimistic."
Perhaps he learned a thing or two from his opponent's mistakes. Either way, we salute Correa for turning things around and pulling out a defeat over the 2006 OC Worst Candidate, as Daucher was dubbed by Moxley shortly before the election:
Speaking from the newsroom that's blasted Lou for his unmistakable conservatism and anti-gay votes, Daucher strikes us as a lying bitch. Not a politically correct statement? Ask me if I care. ... Lynn, you are a disgrace and when you lose tomorrow, at least have the decency to apologize for your well-funded but sick campaign.