Democratic Challenger’s Lead Grows For Northern California House Seat

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – Democrat Ami Bera has increased his lead slightly over Republican Rep. Dan Lungren in their still-undecided race for a Sacramento-area congressional seat.

The latest vote tallies released by elections officials Friday show Bera leading by nearly 1 percentage point. He is 1,779 votes ahead with 208,000 votes counted.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

“We are confident that Dr. Bera is going come out on top here, especially after those provisional ballots are counted because those tend to skew so strongly towards Democrats,” said Josh Wolf, Bera’s campaign manager.

Lungren, a two-term Congressman and former state Attorney General, defeated Bera two years ago. Since then, redistricting has shrunk District 7, which encompasses most of Sacramento County and now has a slightly Democratic edge.

Rob Stuzman, former GOP strategist and consultant for the Lundgren Campaign, said federal observers from both parties who arrived Thursday to monitor the ballot counting are only there in case questions arise.

Neither campaign expects the vote count to be done before Thanksgiving.

County officials were still counting millions of ballot statewide three days after the election. The Lungren Bera race and two Southern California contests remained too close to call Friday.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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