Republican House majority climbs to 220 with win in California
Republicans’ House majority in the next Congress climbed to 220 on Tuesday, when Republican Kevin Kiley defeated his Democratic opponent, Kermit Jones, in the tight race for California’s 3rd Congressional District.
The Associated Press called the race for Kiley on Tuesday afternoon, two weeks after voters headed to the polls to cast their ballots in the eastern California district. Kiley, a California State Assembly member, won with 53 percent of the vote.
Kiley’s win brings Republicans’ House majority to 220, while Democrats currently hold 212 seats. Three races are still uncalled by the AP: California’s 13th District, Alaska’s at-large district and Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R) Colorado district.
While the AP has not called Boebert’s race, which appears headed for a recount with Boebert holding a slight edge, her Democratic challenger Adam Frisch conceded on Friday, saying he believed the outcome of the election was unlikely to change.
Alaska’s at-large district appears likely to be called on Wednesday night, when the state’s elections division reveals the final unofficial results of the latest round under its ranked-choice system. Rep. Mary Peltola (D) is expected to hold onto the seat she nabbed in August’s special election to finish out the late Rep. Don Young’s term in Congress.
Peltola currently has a substantial lead over her two Republican opponents, Sarah Palin and Nick Begich. However, Alaska’s fairly recent switch to a ranked choice election system leaves the race up in the air until the final results come in.
If no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote in the ranked choice system, the candidate with the lowest number of votes gets eliminated, and voters’ ballots are redistributed to their second choice.
In the August primary, many Palin and Begich voters picked Peltola as their second choice over the other Republican. If a similar dynamic plays out, it could once again hand the Democrat the seat, even though the two Republican candidates had more votes combined.
In California’s 13th District, Republican John Duarte is currently leading his Democratic opponent, Adam Gray, by fewer than 600 votes with 99 percent of the vote in.
If the three final districts go the way they are currently leaning, Republicans would control 222 seats, while Democrats would hold 213 seats. This would be the mirror image of the slim House majority that Democrats obtained in the 2020 election.