The day after a special election last week, Republican Andy Vidak declared victory in the race for a vacant state Senate seat. He had 52% of the vote.
But provisional ballots counted since then put Vidak just below the majority vote he needed to win the 16th District seat outright.
As a result, he will face the second-place candidate, Democrat Leticia Perez, in a July 23 runoff election.
The secretary of state said Wednesday night that the final vote tally was 49.8% for Vidak and 43.9% for Perez in a field of six candidates.
Perez is a member of the Kern County Board of Supervisors from Bakersfield. Vidak is a Hanford farmer.
Both candidates said their priorities include creating more jobs for the San Joaquin Valley district.
The 16th Senate District lost its representative earlier this year with the abrupt resignation of Sen. Michael Rubio, who took a job as a government affairs manager with Chevron Corp.