Jay Obernolte's November opponent still too close to call as votes are counted in House race

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Rep. Jay Obernolte will move on to the November general election, but his opponent in that race is too close to call.

With just under 50% of the vote counted Wednesday morning. Obernolte received 53.5% of the vote with 20,502 votes to easily cement his name on the November ballot.

But his two Democratic opponents, Derek Marshall and Victorville Councilwoman Blanca Gomez, are separated by only 1,000 votes with only 48% of the votes counted at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Rep. Jay Obernolte.
Rep. Jay Obernolte.

The 23rd District was newly created after redistricting and covers most of San Bernardino County, along with parts of Kern and Los Angeles counties.

The district is one of seven right-leaning seats in California and is considered a “Solid R” district, according to the website FiveThirtyEight.com.

Obernolte, a Trump-backed Republican, is the incumbent congressman for California’s old 8th District, which was larger geographically and covered Inyo, Mono and San Bernardino counties.

He is a former state Assembly member and founder of a video game developer, FarSight Studios.

In response to Daily Press questions, Obernolte touted his business experience and 17 years in public service as to why he was the most qualified candidate.

“With our economy such a critical issue, we need leaders who understand the role government plays in either helping or hindering our prosperity,” he said.

If elected for a second term, Obernolte said he would lean toward increasing law enforcement resources at the California-Mexico border and help get control of “runaway inflation.”

Marshall, a Democrat, is a community organizer and formerly worked for several of his party’s campaigns, including Sen. Bernie Sanders for president.

He believes a background in working internationally has set him up to be a successful congressman.

Derek Marshall, a candidate for California's 23rd Congressional District.
Derek Marshall, a candidate for California's 23rd Congressional District.

“In my experience living and working amongst other countries across the world, all with less money than the US, I have seen how guaranteeing people health care, affordable housing, and removing the financial shackles of medical and student loan debt can lead to a happier and healthier community,” Marshall said.

He said he would toward public policy that addresses climate change, affordable housing and passing a bill that would establish a single-payer health care system in the U.S.

Gomez did not return messages from the Daily Press about the race.

Daily Press reporter Martin Estacio may be reached at 760-955-5358 or MEstacio@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_mestacio.

This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: California primary election results: 23rd District race a close one