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Westly Leads Ballot Count in Race for Controller

November 16, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Republican Tom McClintock and Democrat Steve Westly remained locked in a too-close-to-call race Friday as ballots continued to be counted from their Nov. 5 election for state controller.

With an estimated 243,000 votes still to be tallied, Westly held a 21,309-vote lead over McClintock -- 3,211,783 to 3,190,474, a margin of only 0.3%.

Westly said his calculations indicated that when the count is finished, probably next week, he will win narrowly. McClintock said he would rather be ahead than behind, but declined to forecast the outcome.

In the tight contest for the 12th Senate District seat in the San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys, Republican Jeff Denham of Salinas has claimed victory over Democrat Rusty Areias of Merced, 48.4% to 47.1%. An Areias spokesman said many ballots are yet to be counted, and they will determine who wins and loses.

In other undecided races, Democrat Nicole Parra held a bare 187-vote lead over Republican Dean Gardner for an Assembly seat in the lower San Joaquin Valley. In a San Diego County race for the Assembly, Republican Shirley Horton led Democrat Vincent Hall by 1,629 votes.

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