I just fielded my fifth call today asking the whereabouts of the concession statement from 11th District GOP candidate David Harmer in the wake of his loss to Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney.
Here’s the short answer: There isn’t one. I haven’t heard from Harmer despite numerous calls and emails to his campaign spokespeople.
And no, contrary to the accusation from one caller, our failure to mention the fact that Harmer had not returned calls in our published story today does not reflect any bias other than the fact that we decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.
For all we knew, he was dealing with a major family emergency.
UPDATE 3:20 P.M. I just got off the phone with Harmer campaign spokesman Tim Clark , who tells me that we will hear from the candidate “when the time is right for him” although the timing is uncertain. In the meantime, Clark said, Harmer and the campaign staff are reviewing concerns about the expedited signature comparison of vote-by-mail ballots in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. It’s unclear what action Harmer may take.
But here we are, 24 hours after the final county in the 11th District certified its results and still no statement from Harmer. No return phone call. No email from Harmer. His campaign people indicated someone would be saying something but that something has yet to materialize.
There has been no concession call to McNerney, either, according to the congressman’s press secretary.
A concession is unnecessary to the process, of course. It’s a symbolic display of sportsmanship and good manners.
I’ve covered David Harmer through two congressional campaigns now, and he has always made himself readily available to the press. He has always been gracious and generous with his time.
Harmer lost by roughly 1 percentage point, hardly a vote of confidence for McNerney but a win for the Democrat nonetheless. It is also most likely a sufficient enough margin to discourage a costly recount.
It’s possible that Harmer is seriously contemplating whether to pay for a recount. Perhaps he is lobbying for the House of Representatives to intervene based on some type of allegations of voter fraud. Or both.
He may have campaign debt and it is undeniably easier to ask for money to keep the fight alive. The post-general Federal Election Commission campaign finance report deadline is Thursday, so we’ll have a better idea of the candidates’ financial picture when those reports come out.
The only person who really knows is Harmer.
I’ll keep calling.