CD11: Harmer attends freshman orientation



Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney may have declared victory last week but that hasn’t stopped challenger and GOP nominee David Harmer from attending his party’s freshman orientation session in Washington, D.C.

“Since we don’t yet know whether I’ll become a new member of Congress, I’m participating with a unique blend of apprehension and hope,” Harmer wrote in a fund-raising appeal email late this afternoon.

As of today, McNerney holds a slim 1,751-vote lead over Harmer, or 0.76 percent of the total vote.  McNerney declared himself the victor last week, calling it statistically unlikely that Harmer could close the gap with the remaining uncounted votes. Harmer has refused to concede.

Alameda County has finished its count, while Santa Clara County had fewer than 500 ballots left to process in the 11th District.

San Joaquin County, where 55 percent of the 11th District’s voter live, had processed 3,500 of its approximately 9,000 uncounted provisional ballots as of this afternoon but not all of those ballots are in the 11th District.  (About half the county is in the 11th District.)

Harmer held a 4 percentage point lead in San Joaquin County. Unlike his counterparts in other 11th District counties, Registrar Austin Erdman said he has not segregated the congressional ballots due to close races in other parts of the county. Erdman said earlier today that he expects to post an updated countywide tally on Tuesday. (Update: Erdman said that figure will not include provisionals. He said he will post the provisional results when his office has finished processing all the provisional ballots. He hopes to finish before the Thanksgiving holiday next week.)

Contra Costa County will begin processing the 1,830 uncounted provisional ballots from the 11th District on Tuesday, said Registrar Steve Weir.  Harmer was holding a 0.2 percentage point lead in Contra Costa, or 118 votes.  In response to a lawsuit filed by the California Republican Party, Weir will set up observation stations for both sides to observe the provisional ballot processing for the remaining 11th District votes.

Here is Harmer’s full email, which serves as a plea for cash, too:

I’m writing from the Capitol in Washington, D.C., where I’m attending the orientation for new members of Congress. Since we don’t yet know whether I’ll become a new member of Congress, I’m participating with a unique blend of apprehension and hope.

Last night, at a dinner for the Republican freshmen in the Capitol’s magnificent Statuary Hall, I sat just a few feet from the site of John Quincy Adams’s old desk as Republican Leader and soon-to-be Speaker of the House John Boehner spoke of our charge from the American people. His watchword was humility; his counsel, servant leadership. He is determined to restore representation as the founders intended — a House that does the people’s business through the cumbersome, unpredictable, messy, but democratic means of legislation. He envisions a House where Representatives are actual legislators — not merely voters on proposals negotiated behind closed doors, but daily participants in the process of investigation, persuasion, negotiation, and debate.

For California to fail to contribute to this historic change in leadership, mission, and tone would be tragic, but it’s a very real risk. The wave that swept the rest of the nation, resulting in well over 60 net new Republican seats, seems to have washed up against the eastern flank of the Sierras without crossing their crest. So far Republicans haven’t picked up a single one of California’s 53 seats in the U.S. House. But the 11th District is still in play.

To ensure an accurate count of the remaining ballots, to prepare for a possible recount, and to do our best to complete the campaign successfully, we need to raise much more money. If you haven’t already done so, please consider contributing to our recount fund. Contributions of any amount are welcome, appreciated, and needed.

Yours truly,

David Harmer

P.S. Several of the freshmen here were already my friends. This wonderful week is giving me the opportunity to strengthen my relationships with them and to become acquainted with the others. They are tremendously supportive. They know how hard you’ve worked, how generously you’ve contributed, and how earnestly you’re praying for our campaign’s eventual success. Many of them are joining you in contributing to the recount fund — so you’re in very good company.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • Steve Bloom

    So if I have the numbers straight, that’s at most 5,000 ballots, out of Harmer could expect to pick up ~200 if there’s consistency with the existing results (ignoring the likely McNerney tilt of the provisionasls). Harmer would need to pick up over two-thirds of them to get to even. Hmm, I don’t think one needs to be a math PhD to see where this is headed.

  • Will David Harmer reimburse taxpayers for the costs associated with him attending the “freshman orientation” once the various county election officials certify their results to the Secretary of State, thereby confirming U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney’s win?

  • steve weir

    Contra Costa is still processing our precinct rosters, and until that is accomplished, we cannot touch the Provisional Ballots. Our best estimate on beginning the Provisionals is Wednesday, Nov. 17th.

  • John W

    Much as I want McNerney to prevail, and expect he will, it’s appropriate for him to attend the orientation. That’s standard procedure in undecided races. The wait must be frustrating for both candidates.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Who is having a roast turkey or a lame duck for Thanksgiving? Courts reopen on Nov. 29.

  • Your usual great objective reporting has a lot to do with the success of our democracy in general, and whoever wins should be glad to have such a knowledgeable reporter writing about him.

  • John W

    Interesting signature!

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Sadly, a democracy is the slowest government to solve economic problems. by the time the USA has corrected past mistakes, China will rule.

  • John W

    Re #8 Ralph Hoffman

    Funny you should mention that about China. A Saturday Night Live bit last weekend showed a global map, with the U.S. labeled “New China.” As for sluggish Democracy, I’ve sometimes entertained the notion that CA should shift to a dictator form of government for a few years, to give somebody the chance to fix everything, without being constrained by all the handcuffs “we the people” have put on the legislative and executive branches. The person would not have to worry about re-election but would be paid a gigantic performance bonus at the end, based on results. Not serious, but it’s hard to argue that “democracy” or “republicanism” (small R) works in CA.

  • Laura Sanborn

    Re: the SOS page on Close Contests http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/close-contests/ . Can somebody explain why the total number of votes for candidates in CA CD11 is nearly 3 times higher than for CA CD20? I thought that within a given state, the number of residents in each congressional district is about the same. A week ago I thought perhaps CD20 was just late in their vote counting efforts, but haven’t a large majority of votes been counted by now? I grok that GOTV efforts can increase voter participation, but THAT many more?

  • steve weir

    Districts were last apportioned in 2001.

    Total Regis. in the 20th CD is 210,419. Total Regis. in the 11th CD is 378,927. With the exception of CD 31 in LA (total registration just over 202,000), the 20th CD has the lowest registration in the state for a Congressional District.

    Remember, Congressional Districts are apportioned by population, not registered voters.

  • It’s pretty sad—yes, tragic—when uninformed voters who haven’t sorted out fact from blatant falsehoods, go to the polls and vote for someone who has been a puppet for Pelosi and has not considered the wishes of the American people. David Harmer is a very principled man, full of integrity, who supports public schools, who never once during the campaign attacked his opponant with lies and misleading messages. All this was done by his opponant and the DNC—all for power!One only has to read the 1,000s of tributes sent to David and Elayne Harmer all across the spectrum to know how much they admire and respect their example of goodness and correctness. HE IS THE ONE WHO BELONGS IN OUR CONGRESS TO HELP RESTORE THE VALUES OF OUR FOUNDING FATHERS.

  • Jason B.

    Mr. Harmer likes to talk about “our Founding Fathers” so often that you would think that he is an expert on the early American republic, but he is not quite “ready for prime time.” Mr. Harmer wrote in his e-mail quoted above, “I sat just a few feet from the site of John Quincy Adams’s old desk as Republican Leader…” Mr. Adams was never a formal congressional “Leader,” or “Republican Leader” or even a “Republican.” He died in 1848, a full six years before the Republican party was founded in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854! (I’ll concede that Mr. Adams was a “National Republican” circa 1830, but that was a different political party than the Republican party that was created in the 1850s and has been in continuous operation to the present — but I don’t think that Abraham Lincoln would be welcome within the “G.O.P.” today.) Is Mr. Harmer equally full of “smoke” whenever he lectures us on other matters?

  • John W

    The “Founding Fathers” agreed they wanted the King out of their hair. They also designed a system of checks and balances. Beyond that, I’m not sure what those “values” are. They disagreed on strong vs weak central government, slavery, a national bank, protective tariffs and many other issues. To my knowledge, they never voiced opinions on health care, reproductive rights, net neutrality, anti-trust, environmental protection, climate change, bailouts, economic growth strategy, Latino immigration, nuclear nonproliferation etc. They expected we would confront challenges unfamiliar to them and expected us to slug it out on how to deal with them, just as they did. But what do I know? I’m just one of those ill-informed souls who was too blinded by Nancy Pelosi to realize that Mr. Harmer is the embodiment of “goodness and correctness.”

  • Laura Sanborn

    Thanks Steve. I falsely assumed that the number of registered voters in various CA CDs would more closely correlate with population.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Laura asked a good question; Steve answered it accurately. Helen, Jason and John, you’re in the “Hot Stove League” now. Nov 17 has come & gone. What’t the latest count for CD-11?

  • steve weir

    We posted on Nov. 15.

    According to the SOS’s web site (Nov. 19), McNerney is at 111,438 and Harmer is at 109,655. (This is for Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, and Santa Clara which makes up the 11th CD.)

    Contra Costa is processing our Provisional Ballots (some 1,859 in the 11th CD, remember, not all will count), our Late Conditional, our damaged ballot remakes, etc. We have about 17,000 uncounted ballots county wide (5% of the total count) including over 11,000 provisionals. As I have indicated before, the last 5% takes as long as the first 95% to count. So, we will not do an update until we have finished.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Steve, as you know, the League of Women Voters web site, http://www.smartvoter.org shows exactly the Nov. 19 totals you quote for the SOS’s web site, plus may be easier for voters to access. McNerney provided info to voters on the LWV site; Harmer didn’t. In this close an election, this openness could have won it for McNerney. What other bloggers think about my theory?

  • John W

    Re #16 Ralph Hoffman

    “Hot Stove League, eh?” I like it. Can I get a T-Shirt? Your point is well taken. Election is over, even if we don’t yet know the results for CD-11 and AG. However, I’m admittedly thin-skinned about constantly being told the flag, patriotism, the constitution and “our country” belongs to the Red team and that anybody not on board with that is anti-American. So, yes, I took the bait.