In the 21st congressional district of California, the vote-counting process has been paused for over 10 days due to CCP virus exposure at the local elections office earlier this month.
After the counting resumed, Republican challenger David Valadao came out victorious, unseating Democratic incumbent TJ Cox.
The Republican win in California’s 21st district marks the third House seat that flipped red in California this election. The other two wins were both in Orange County, in districts 39 and 49. All three seats were the ones that the GOP lost to the Democratic party back in 2018.
The 21st district is a largely rural district based in the Central Valley. It has been a Republican stronghold since the 1980s. But in the 2018 midterm elections, Democrat TJ Cox unseated then-Republican incumbent Valadao by less than 900 votes.
In 2018, thousands of late-arriving mail-in ballots poured in for Cox after multiple outlets had already called the race for Valadao. These ballots eventually overturned the election result.
This year, Republicans have flipped 12 house seats, making a net gain of 9 additional seats. The state of California saw the most number of house seat flips this election.