As election night drew to a close on Tuesday, the former senator and Democrat challenger Josh Newman pulled ahead in the highly-competitive race against Republican Incumbent Ling Ling Chang for a seat in the 29th California State Senate District.
In a historic swing district, the 29th District encompasses cities from north Orange County, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.
As of Wednesday night, Newman leads with 51.5% while Chang trails behind with 48.5%.
“I could not be more encouraged, could not be more grateful, could not be more excited about the prospect of representing this area once again,” Newman said at an election night rally with Congressional Incumbent Gil Cisneros.
This would be Newman’s second chance at Senator after he won the race in 2016. In 2018, he was recalled following his controversial vote on a bill that aimed to increase gas taxes, when Chang took his place in a special election.
After the recall, Democrats lost the supermajority in the Senate, which cost them the power to override the governor’s veto on a bill.
In the primary elections, Chang had received approximately 48% of the votes while Newman followed behind with over 34%.
Newman runs on a platform that aims to increase accessibility to resources for veterans, mental health and education.
Running on a platform focused on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chang has maintained her position as district senator since 2018.
Chang has yet to comment on the preliminary results.
The results for this election will be certified by Dec. 11, according to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s website.