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Harder jumps into lead over Denham in latest count
Latest vote count shows Denham in trouble
harder campaign
Josh Harder meets with volunteers at his Modesto campaign headquarters on Friday (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

Democrat Josh Harder has pulled ahead of Congressman Jeff Denham in the latest vote count released by the election divisions of both Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

Denham had been ahead of Harder in Stanislaus County until results of the tally released after 5 p.m. Friday. It showed Harder ahead 72,101 to 69,313. Combined with the totals from San Joaquin County – where Harder has always been ahead – the Democrat challenger is showing a lead of 3,362 votes with 89,763 votes over Denham’s 86,401 votes.

The California Secretary of State’s website did not show the update as of 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Ballot counting still continues with 13,000 provisional, conditional and miscellaneous ballots needing to be verified and counted. Legally, the elections office has until Dec. 6 to count all of the votes.

Stanislaus County Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan said on Tuesday night that an “amazing amount” of voters throughout the county requested provisional ballots. Many polling places were reported to have run out of the pink envelopes that provisional ballots are placed in, causing confusion and long lines for those trying to cast their vote.

The high-profile race was targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee early on as part of their campaign to flip Republican-controlled districts over to Democrats — something that, with or without a victory from Harder, the Democrats were able to achieve Tuesday night. This year’s midterms marked the fourth straight election that Deham has had to defend his incumbency against the “blue wave.”