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By Breeana Greenberg
In the race to represent California’s 74th Assembly District, Republican incumbent Laurie Davies is leading against her Democratic opponent, San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan.
As of early Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, unofficial results from the California Secretary of State showed Davies taking the lead with 54.2% (57,603) of the votes, while Duncan reportedly had 45.8% (48,761) of the votes.
“I feel so grateful, because it looks obviously that I’ve taken this seat, and I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve for another two years,” Davies said on Wednesday morning. “There’s so much that we can do, working across the aisle, a lot of good for this state. So, that’s what I’m really excited about.”
Davies added that she’s looking forward to continuing her work on battling the illicit use of fentanyl and those who deal the drug. She also hopes to see an audit of state programs to ensure taxpayer dollars are well spent.
“We have so much of our taxpayer dollars going towards homelessness, going towards these other programs, but we’re not seeing any results,” Davies said. “We need to sit down and really look at where these programs are … review them, if they’re working, great; if not, then we need to let them go so that we can make sure that every tax dollar is being counted and used positively.”
During her first term representing the Assembly district, Davies prided herself on her level of communication with her constituents.
“I made it an important point to make sure that folks that I represented knew what was going on at the state level; they knew what bills were going up there, they knew where I was going to vote, they understood how this was going to affect their safety, their businesses, schools, things like that,” Davies said.
Unofficial results late Tuesday night initially showed Duncan ahead of Davies. However, speaking with San Clemente Times that evening, she noted that during the Primary Election, polls had shown Duncan initially leading that race as well, but by the following morning, the tides had turned in her favor.
At the time he was leading on Tuesday, Duncan said he was “feeling cautiously optimistic.”
“This is uncertain as to how the votes are going to come in, so we’re still waiting to see the next batch of votes,” he said.
Wednesday morning, Duncan said it was too early to discuss plans after the election should Davies win, but added, “I will certainly be active, involved in our community here and continuing to help improve people’s lives.”
“I’m very grateful for all of our supporters for putting us in this position to be so close and feeling great about our campaign,” Duncan continued. “We are trailing, but there’s a lot of ballots out there still.”
Based on campaign finance filings, or 460 Forms, with the California Secretary of State’s office—which covered all contributions and campaign expenditures up until Oct. 22—Duncan had raised about $517,450, slightly more than Davies’ $511,149.
As of late October, Duncan had outspent Davies by roughly $87,000. On their respective 460 forms, Duncan reported spending roughly $629,000 on his campaign, while Davies spent roughly $542,000.
The California Secretary of State is scheduled to certify the results from across the state by Dec. 16.
Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org