If all holds, it’s likely that former California State Assembly Republican Leader and Tulare County Supervisor Connie Conway will get a new title: Congresswoman.
Conway, the long-time south Valley lawmaker, currently leads the field for the six-month term representing the expiring 22nd Congressional District once held by former Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare).
She garnered 34.8 percent of the vote, far shy of a majority outright win.
Up-to-Date Election Results » 22nd Congressional District
Behind her sits Department of Water Resources specialist Lourin Hubbard, a Democrat, with 19.65 percent of the vote.
If the results hold up, Conway would likely carry the heavily-Republican seat in the upcoming runoff timed to coincide with the June 7 primary for newly-drawn districts following 2021 redistricting.
Early results show some interesting surprises.
The biggest? The emergence of Matt Stoll, a Visalia Republican fighter pilot who vaulted himself into the second-highest votegetter among the crowded GOP field and third overall with late, breaking ballots in Tulare County.
Stoll entered the race a virtual unknown.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Heng, a previous Congressional contender who squared off against Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) in 2018, sits in last place garnering a mere 6.63 percent of early returns.
Nunes, who departed to lead Trump Media and Technology Group in January, did not back a candidate in the race to fill his seat.
This story will be updated.