Wallis declares victory in Assembly District 47 race; Holstege weighing recount request

Republican Greg Wallis declared victory Thursday morning over Democrat Christy Holstege in a tight race to represent California’s 47th Assembly District, soon after election results were certified in San Bernardino County. Holstege said she’s still weighing a request for a recount.

Wallis, a staff member for retiring Assemblymember Chad Mayes, had traded the lead with Holstege several times since Election Day, but he pulled ahead as more votes trickled in from San Bernardino County in recent weeks.

Final returns showed Wallis winning by 85 votes out of more than 169,000 cast.

“With today’s certification in San Bernardino County, all of the ballots in the 47th Assembly District have been counted and we’ve seen the democratic process through to its end,” Wallis said in a statement Thursday morning. “I’m honored that the people have elected me to serve our community.”

“Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign,” Wallis continued. “As promised, I’ll work with anyone with good ideas — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — to make real changes that make life more affordable, with more opportunity, for everyone.”

Final vote totals showed Wallis with 84,752 votes to 84,667 for Holstege. While California doesn’t have any provisions that trigger automatic recounts in its elections, the close margin could still lead to a request for one to be conducted.

Under state law, any registered voter can request a recount within five days of the vote certification. That deadline will come in the middle of next week. (It falls on Tuesday or Wednesday, Dec. 13 or 14, depending on how the statute is read, and the San Bernardino registrar of voters said it's Tuesday.)

Holstege told The Desert Sun on Thursday her team has not yet decided whether to ask for a recount.

“This is one of the closest legislative elections in California history, and we owe it to the voters to get it right,” Holstege said. “85 votes is incredibly close in a district with 170,000 votes cast, and the difference is less than a tenth of 1%.”

“Over the next several days our team will be closely analyzing the results and assess whether a recount is worth pursuing,” she continued. “Regardless of the outcome, I remain committed to our region and serving our community.’

Holstege, a member of the Palm Springs City Council, won 54% of votes in Riverside County, where most of the district falls, but Wallis has kept a comfortable lead in San Bernardino County, bringing them within a historically close margin for a state legislative race.

The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters certified its election results Thursday, after the Riverside County registrar did the same last week.

Assembly District 47 encompasses much of the previous district represented by Mayes and includes most of the western and central Coachella Valley. The district also includes Banning, Beaumont and Idyllwild, and extends into Yucca Valley and Yucaipa in San Bernardino County.

Meanwhile, other newly elected legislators in California were sworn in earlier this week, as the Legislature began a special session to consider Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal for a “price gouging” penalty on oil companies. Democratic lawmakers maintain a comfortable supermajority following this year’s elections.

“Now, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get right to work,” Wallis said in his statement Thursday. “The Governor has initiated a special session, and the legislature has already convened and started organizing. I’m excited to get to Sacramento right away and represent all constituents of our district.”

Tom Coulter covers the cities of Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells. Reach him at thomas.coulter@desertsun.com or on Twitter @tomcoulter_.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Wallis declares victory in AD 47 race; Holstege weighing recount request