Warren Gubler, a Republican candidate for the 26th Assembly District seat, has been “knocked out of the race,” according to his campaign manager Karen Tellalian.
Of the four candidates running in the June 5 primary for the Assembly District, incumbent Devon Mathis and Tulare City Council member Jose Sigala appear almost certain to move forward to the November general election.
While Tellalian said that the vote count’s trends made it an impossibility for Gubler to take second place, she also said he would not concede until the vote count was finalized.
Assembly District 26 comprises of Tulare and Inyo Counties as well as a small part of Kern County. As the week wore on, and Kern and Inyo Counties updated their returns, Gubler’s lead continued to shrink until he fell to third place — where he has not since recovered.
The tally as of June 14 was: Incumbent Republican Devon Mathis 17,771 at 30.4%, Democrat Jose Sigala 17,225 at 29.4%, Republican Warren Gubler 16,502 at 28.2%, Republican Jack Lavers 7,017 at 12.0%.
On election night, according to Tulare County’s first report, Gubler took a two point lead over Mathis and a 4.5 point lead over Sigala. But by the end of the night, Gubler’s lead in Tulare County had shrunk to 34 votes over Mathis.
Political pundits predicted that Mathis and Gubler would easily advance to the November election, but Sigala turned out an impressive performance considering his minimal fundraising and campaigning.
On further investigation, Sigala’s numbers reflect current voter registration in the district. Republicans, who are the majority in Tulare, Inyo and Kern, split the party’s vote three ways while Sigala garnered nearly all the Democrat votes. The district is 32% registered Democrat and Sigala, as of the last report, won 29.4 percent of that vote.
Tulare, Inyo and Kern Counties could issue final reports as early as today or next week.
Final results will not be certified until July 5.