With a 6,300-vote lead in one of California’s five closest contests, incumbent state Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, has apparently secured his reelection in the 21st Senate District after Democratic workers’ rights attorney Kipp Mueller conceded Wednesday.
Wilk had earned 50.81% of the vote, or a tally of 196,218, as of Wednesday after an update from San Bernardino County elections officials. Mueller followed with 49.18% of the vote (189,912).
The gap in votes between the two had slightly widened since Tuesday from 6,247 to 6,306 votes, according to figures from California and Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
In a statement issued to supporters Wednesday, Mueller congratulated Wilk and thanked all those who contributed and helped him during his campaign trail.
“It looks like we came up just a bit short. But I am beyond grateful for all of you,” he said, in part. “We battled it out, and the voters made their decision. Senator Wilk ran a strong campaign and made the case for his reelection. I wish Senator Wilk, his family, and his supporters well.”
Wilk said Wednesday he would wait until fewer ballots remain to be counted before commenting on election results.
L.A. County did not provide Wednesday a vote count or outstanding ballots tally update, though it is expected to release on Friday. San Bernardino County has scheduled its next update for Thursday afternoon.
California has yet to process an estimated 351,898 ballots as of noon Wednesday, of which 158,845 are mail-in ballots. L.A. County reported Tuesday about 66,245 outstanding ballots.
Mueller said he has returned to the courts and is “eager and excited about getting back to fighting for workers,” and is particularly looking forward to representing asylum seekers once again.