LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Democrat Matt Dababneh of Encino and Republican Susan Shelley of Woodland Hills were locked in a tight race Tuesday night in a special election for a state Assembly seat.
With 100 percent of the precincts partially reporting, Dababneh led by less than 200 votes, with 50.3 percent of the vote to Shelley’s 49.7 percent.
Updated results reflecting uncounted vote-by-mail and provisional ballots will be announced Friday, said Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan.
The runoff election will fill a vacancy created when Democratic Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield resigned after being elected to the Los Angeles City Council.
A victory by Dababneh would restore Democrats’ two-thirds majority in the 80-member Assembly. Democrats already have a supermajority in the 40-member Senate.
The district includes the southwest San Fernando Valley communities of Encino, Northridge and West Hills, as well as the cities of Calabasas and Hidden Hills, all in Los Angeles County. It also includes a sliver of Ventura County.
Democrats make up 49 percent of registered voters in the district, while 25 percent are Republican. Nearly as many, 22 percent, have no party preference, according to the California Target Book, which analyzes legislative and congressional campaigns.
Dababneh is the chief deputy to Rep. Brad Sherman. He defeated six other Democrats during a special primary in September, with 25 percent of the overall vote.
Shelley, who had been a writer and associate producer of the television game show “Jeopardy!”, was one of three Republican candidates. She advanced to the runoff election with 21 percent of the overall vote under California’s top-two primary system.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)