Republican Ted Howze was beaten handily by Rep. Josh Harder in the 2020 election.
Even if Howze won all of the remaining votes left to count, he would still fall short of Harder’s lead. But Howze isn’t conceding.
The race for the 10th Congressional district was called in favor of Harder two weeks ago by the Associated Press. As of Wednesday, Harder, D-Turlock, was up by 10 points and 30,000 votes over Howze.
That’s more votes than there are left to count in San Joaquin County and Stanislaus County, the two counties the seat represents. San Joaquin County only has about 12,000 ballots left to count — mainly provisional and damaged ballots — and Stanislaus has between 1,500 and 2,000 left.
California allows ballots to be counted up to 17 days after Election Day this year, as long as they’re postmarked by Election Day, so the counties could receive more ballots. But that’s unlikely to be a significant number.
Yet Howze has not released any sort of statement conceding the election. Harder has won regardless of whether Howze concedes — it isn’t a requirement — but it is a typical courtesy by campaigns that is rarely ignored.
Howze did not respond to a request for comment. Tim Rosales, a spokesman for his campaign, did not respond to a question on whether they planned to pursue any legal recourse, like challenging ballots or requesting recounts.
“I’m blessed to have our community’s support once again. I look forward to continuing my work across the aisle and getting real results for the Valley,” Harder said in a statement to McClatchy. “I wish Mr. Howze and his family the best.”
Meanwhile, Howze has changed his Facebook page from “Ted Howze for Congress” to simply “Ted Howze.” The last statement Howze made on the race on that page was Nov. 9, days after the AP announced Harder was the winner.
“I’ve received hundreds of calls and texts from voters who say their ballots have not been counted,” he wrote. “There are still tens of thousands of late Vote By Mail and Election Day ballots to processed in both Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.” He advised his supporters to check the website and make sure their vote was counted.
Since then, he has been publicly silent about the results of the race.
Typically a purple and highly contested district, the election tipped heavily in Harder’s favor this year in part because of offensive social media posts discovered on Howze’s social media pages.
More than a dozen problematic posts spanned several years, with one comparing young immigrants to pedophiles, another saying Muslims couldn’t be good Americans and another questioning the priorities of the Black Lives Matter group.
After those posts surfaced in the media, Howze denied he wrote them but declined to say who did. Arms of the state and national Republican parties pulled their endorsements of Howze and abandoned him financially.
Howze vowed to press on, loaning his own campaign hundreds of thousands of dollars and retaining support from some local Republicans. His campaign currently owes him $295,000, according to Federal Election Commission records. It has $67,000 in cash on hand.