Cox victory in California gives Democrats 40th congressional pickup

TJ Cox defeated three-term Republican Rep. David Valadao on Wednesday in California’s House race, clinching victory three weeks after election day.

Cox had trailed by 4,400 votes on election night but steadily gained as more ballots were counted. He pushed his lead over Valadao to 529 votes Wednesday when updated results were released from Fresno and Kings counties.

His victory gave Democrats a gain of seven House seats in California and 40 nationwide, the Democrats’ best midterm showing since the mid-1970s in the Watergate era.

One other congressional seat remains in the air: North Carolina election officials are refusing to certify Republican Mark Harris’ 905-vote victory over Democrat Dan McCready as they investigate possible irregularities with absentee ballots in the state’s 9th Congressional District.

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