With the race for Sacramento's Seventh District still undecided both the Democratic incumbent, Ami Bera, and his Republican challenger, Doug Ose, are in Washington, D.C. this week.
Newly elected lawmakers from around the nation are learning the congressional ropes in the Capitol this week. They’re learning how to cast a vote or hire a staff. Republican Doug Ose attends all the meetings, but isn’t interviewing potential staffers yet.
“No. Very premature," Ose. "So we'll see where the votes go.”
Ose was up by about three thousand votes on Election Day, but as the count continues, incumbent Democrat Ami Bera has moved ahead. Still, Ose says it’s good he’s in Washington – even if he loses.
“Well I don't think anyone is waiting around, I am sure Congressman Bera's not. I'm not," says Ose. "The Democratic Caucus isn't, the Republican Caucus isn't, let's just get the votes counted and move forward.”
Bera went through a similar extended recount in his last election. He’s predicting a similar result this time.
“You know last time we were tied up on Election Day and when it was all said and done we won by 9,000 votes," says Bera. "This time we were down 3,000 on Election Day, went to 2,000 to 500; we’re up 711 votes, so I feel pretty confident we’re going to win this thing.”
As to whether California should reform election procedures to speed up ballot counting...both candidates say discussion of reform can wait until all this year’s ballots are counted. For Capital Public Radio, I’m Matt Laslo in Washington.