Burrel Republican Johnny Tacherra is in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday at the orientation for new members of Congress. The thing is, he hasn’t defeated incumbent Fresno Democrat Jim Costa in the 16th Congressional District — and may not.
The picture should get clearer by 3 p.m., when Fresno County updates its vote totals. County officials are on schedule to finish the final 10,300 mail ballots from the Nov. 4 election.
Right now, Tacherra has a 741-vote lead, but Costa will almost certainly cut into that edge — quite likely significantly — when Fresno County announces the updated numbers.
Fresno County is Costa’s strongest part of the district. The last time Fresno County updated, Costa picked up 1,697 votes. If the numbers break the same way today as they did at Fresno County’s initial vote-count update last Friday, Costa could take a small lead over Tacherra.
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With all the mail ballots in the 16th District race out of the way, the only thing remaining will be provisional ballots — 1,505 in Merced County, 722 in Madera County and an unknown amount in Fresno County. Fresno has around 10,100 provisional ballots still to count, but it is unknown how many are from the 16th Congressional District part of the county.
So far, Tacherra is winning 66% of the Madera County vote and 55% of the Merced County vote. Costa is winning 63% of the Fresno County vote.