Razor thin margin sends Duarte, Gray down to the wire for Valley’s lone open House seat

One day after polls closed, the battle for California’s 13th Congressional District is neck and neck.

Modesto nursery owner John Duarte, a Republican, leads Asm. Adam Gray (D–Merced) 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent with nearly 70,000 votes counted as of Wednesday afternoon.

Duarte’s lead at this point is razor-thin at 203 votes.

The contest for the 13th district is one of the most expensive in the nation with around $15 million spent on both candidates.

After the initial count came out Tuesday night showing Gray with a slim lead, his campaign sent out a statement saying that strong enthusiasm in bipartisan leaders, which he touts as himself, is driving the results. 

“I’ve spoken to voters up and down the Valley who don’t believe either party has their best interests in mind. They are voting for the candidate they think will make life better regardless of their party. In this race, there was a clear choice. My opponent spent millions of dollars playing the partisan blame game without offering a single original solution of his own. I focused on unity, highlighting how the best solutions came about when Democrats and Republicans work together,” Gray said in a statement. 

“This election doesn’t end until every vote is counted, and the people make their voices heard. But I am ready to hit the ground running to bring down the cost of living, increase wages, and make the Valley a better place to live and raise a family.” 

Duarte’s campaign declined to comment on Wednesday.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.