UPDATED, 5:58 PM: Don’t write off Raul Bocanegra just yet. Nearly a week after it looked like the co-author of California’s tax incentives bill was going to lose Assembly his seat to a political novice, he has trimmed the deficit to single digits. That’s votes, not percentage points. In one of the tightest elections in California history, Bocanegra now trails challenger Patty Lopez by a mere seven votes — with more than a thousand mail-in and provisional ballots still to be counted.
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office now says it won’t have a final tally on the District 39 race for until November 28, leaving plenty of time for Bocanegra to regain the lead. And he’s been gaining ground with every update. Stay tuned…
PREVIOUSLY, November 4: Next time someone rolls their eyes when you say, “Every vote counts,” refer them here. Democrat Raul Bocanegra, who co-wrote the bill to increase California’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program this year, is likely out of a job today. Though there are still votes to come in , Bocanegra seems to have lost his District 39 Assembly seat to challenger Patty Lopez. The margin: 182 of the 34,672 ballots cast, or 0.6%. He got nearly 63% of the vote in the June primary.
“He was out there campaigning for others when he should have been campaigning for himself,” a politically connected source told Deadline about the one-term Assemblyman’s defeat.
Bocanegra and fellow Democrat Mike Gatto introduced AB 1839 in February with more than 50 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. The bill to overhaul the state’s production incentives program arrived with no dollar figure attached but was negotiated up to $400 million before Sacramento pols and Governor Jerry Brown settled on a final figure of $330 million. Brown signed the bill in September.
Lopez, who got 24% of the primary vote, is a political novice whose website describes her as a wife, grandmother and community organizer.