Early results from Tuesday’s Presidential Primary Election indicate that Democratic incumbent Josh Harder and Republican challenger Ted Howze will face off in the November general election, once again pitting two Turlock candidates against each other.
It was the second primary election for both Harder and Howze, after the freshman incumbent came in second behind then-Congressman Jeff Denham — who also lived in Turlock at the time — in June 2018 with Howze following closely behind.
As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, 37.7 percent of precincts had partially reported their results: Harder led the way with 38.9 percent of the vote, or 22,567 votes, while Howze trailed by just 428 votes with 38.1 percent of the vote.
Presidential Primary Election Results
As of 11 p.m. Tuesday night
U.S. House of Representatives District 10
Josh Harder (D) 22,567 38.9%
Ted Howze (R) 22,139 38.1%
State Assembly District 12
Paul Akinjo (D) 11,906 31.4%
Heath Flora (R) 26,064 68.6%
Yes 1,533,354 42.9%
No 2,043,399 57.1%
Superior Court Judge Office 5
John R. Mayne 17,612 50.9%
Kenneth Hara 8,756 25.31%
Jared T. Carillo 8,230 23.79%
Superior Court Judge Office 2
Jeff Mangar 20,891 58.54%
Colleen Van Egmond 14,794 41.46%
“It’s really encouraging,” Howze said from his election night party at Ten Pin Fun Center in Turlock. “It shows us that we’ve had a big turnout of our supporters which is what we worked for. We knocked on over 65,000 doors, made over 50,000 phone calls and we’ve worked hard for the past two weeks to turn our voters out and get them to actually turn their ballots in, and it looks like tonight we did a pretty good job at doing that.”
Harder hosted an election night party of his own in Modesto, where he was coy to comment on early results. In 2018, a close contest during the primary saw Harder and Howze wait it out for days before it was decided who would move on to face Denham in the general election.
“We’ll see,” Harder said. “I think in California we had about half the votes counted in 2018 on election night in this district. I think there’s a lot more left to come, so we’ll see. No matter who our opponent ends up being, I think it’s going to be all about the energy and the dynamism of the grassroots folks that you’ve seen tonight.”
Following behind Harder and Howze in the preliminary results Tuesday night were Republicans Bob Elliot with 14.7 percent of the vote (8,512 votes) and Marla Sousa Livengood with 3.4 percent of the vote (1,973 votes). Democrat Mike Barkley captured three percent of the vote (1,712 votes) while fellow Democrat Ryan Blevins grabbed 1,130 votes (1.9 percent) in his first-ever election.
In Stanislaus County, Howze led with 18,101 votes (40.5 percent) compared to Harder’s 17,792 votes (39.81 percent). Both ran for Congress for the first time in 2018 and shared the differences between their campaigns then and now.
“Now I’ve had the opportunity to run on my record,” Harder said, touting his record as the most bipartisan member of Congress and the critical passage of legislation to provide funding for water storage. “I think that’s the record we’re going to take all the way to November.”
Howze said he feels more experienced this time around, and that going from third place in the 2018 primary to the strong start in Tuesday’s preliminary results was “surreal.”
“The first time we worked really hard, but we didn’t know all the ins and outs of a first-time congressional candidate,” he said. “This time we hired a professional staff, we’ve had good management and we’ve coupled all that great work ethic with some guidance so I think that’s worked out.”
As of the preliminary results, Democrats had received 43.8 percent of District 10 votes, while Republicans grabbed just over 56 percent. Tuesday night’s early results will fluctuate as more ballots are counted; historically, Republicans have voted early in greater numbers than Democrats, and many with Democratic ballots likely voted at the polls while waiting to see what presidential candidates were still in the race.
Still, Howze and Harder are both confident they’ll advance to November and plan to campaign on issues important to the Valley. Harder hopes to continue his focus on healthcare, job creation and water, he said.
“I think people are united on the issues that really matter most,” Harder said. “I think we’ve delivered as much as we can on those issues in the first year in office, and we have to continue that record over the next nine months and I think that’s what it’s going to come down to.”
Some of the most important issues facing the area that Howze plans to emphasize in his campaign include securing the nation’s borders, the rising cost of living and healthcare as well. The Republican has earned the endorsement of 10 of the district’s 13 elected mayors and hopes it can propel him into the House.
“That tells you that the people who have the most direct influence over local residents’ daily quality of life say they want to work with Ted Howze, so we’re going to continue to push that as a positive message,” Howze said. “I’m really proud that we’ve run a positive campaign and we’re going to try and stick to that.”
To stay up to date on election results, visit www.stanvote.com.