Kevin Kiley wins CA 3rd District House Race against Kermit Jones

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) was declared the winner of the 3rd District House race on Tuesday, beating the challenger by more than 16,000 votes with 81% reporting.

After the June primary, Kiley held a large lead over Jones all summer, taking about 55% of the vote, while Jones only had 45%. Jones managed to close that gap during the late summer, in part due to Kiley being tied up in Assembly, slowly narrowing the gap to 53.5% to 46.5% in early October, with some race trackers shifting from “Solid Republican” to “Probably Republican” as a result. Jones’ strategy of distancing herself from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and calling for her to resign as speaker also won many on the fence. However, this momentum came in late October grind to a halt due to a Republican candidate bump across the country caused by inflation and economic problems, nationwide polls showing a higher chance of a GOP congressional takeover, and Republican strategies to connect more with minority communities and Hispanic populations proving effective to be.

As with many election night elections, vote counting in the 3rd district was slow, with Kiley leading the next day but with only a fraction of the votes counted. The large 3rd district, which stretches from Lake Tahoe to Death Valley, has been particularly slow due to the mail-in ballots taking a while to arrive given the large district, as well as the coordination and counting logistics of counting votes in different counties .

Last Friday, with 72% of the vote, Kiley Jones led by more than 10,000 votes, leading some to declare victory for Kiley. This one including Kiley herself. However, Jones was still mathematically in it until Tuesday, when new totals put Kiley at 148,101 votes, or 52.8% of the vote, and Jones at 132,576 votes, or 47.2% of the vote with a total of 81% of the votes. With the lead insurmountable, Jones conceded the election to Kiley late Tuesday.

Kiley wins House seat

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Jones said. “To the 1,000 volunteers in 10 counties who knocked down 160,000 doors – thank you. To the 15,000 people who contributed to our campaign, thank you. This was a bottom-up effort, and I could be more proud of the coalition we’ve built, of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats alike. We were all united by a vision for our future that is bigger than partisan politics.”

Kiley also released a statement following the confirmed victory, noting, “It is an honor to represent the 3rd district in Congress. I was born and raised in the communities of this district and will fight every day to protect our quality of life. I look forward to getting started right away to get our country back on track.”

While Democrats lamented another lost race in the House and an increased GOP majority in the House, Republicans celebrated victory, noting that the GOP has now equalized the number of seats they held in California as the current Congress, taking the remaining seat threatens an overall gain for California Republicans.

“Congratulations to Kevin Kiley in his election,” said NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer. “Kevin has spent his career advocating common sense, conservative policies and I know he will work tirelessly in Congress for Californians. I look forward to serving with Kevin.”

Eastern California pollster Ann White said in a Globe interview, “The GOP has officially led California house races this year and may even win one more. Not only does this humiliate the Democrats, but the GOP playing its part in California was instrumental in the GOP’s recapture of the House as a whole. Kiley also means that, along with a few others in California, the GOP now has a bunch of young guns now waiting in the wings for long-term prospects for the House or future higher office.

“Some in the party think it should have gone better, you know, with the red wave not happening, and locally in California with some contested races not going their way. For example, Katie Porter manages to stay in office. But they stood their ground. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the state hit peak blue in 2018, right during Trump’s interim backlash. And if [John] Duarte holds on to victory in the 13th arrondissement, I think we can safely say there is a red shift back going on. Baby steps, sure, but it’s still happening. Kiley is just proof of this.

The only undecided vote in the House, District 13, is expected to have a winner soon, as well as a likely recount due to less than 1,000 votes between the two candidates.

Printer friendly, PDF and email

Leave a Comment