Harder, McNerney Comfortably Reelected
November 4, 2020 at 7:35 pm
Incumbent Congressmembers Jerry McNerney and Josh Harder easily won reelection on Tuesday, with the Associated Press calling both races around midnight.
McNerney, a Democrat, has represented the 9th Congressional District, which covers Stockton, Lodi, Brentwood, and parts of Manteca and Escalon, since 2007. His opponent, Republican Antonio Amador, also ran against him in 2014 and 2016.
The district is generally considered a safe seat for Democrats, who outnumber Republicans by more than 70,000 registered voters. McNerney won by more than 24 points, 62.3% to 37.7%, his largest victory since he was first elected. He also significantly outpaced Amador in fundraising, with almost $474,000 on hand compared to Amador’s $14,000.
"I've focused a lot on my legislative work in this last year and trying to get help for the county with the pandemic," McNerney said Tuesday, per the Stockton Record. "Certainly tonight we're seeing the enthusiasm and the passion of the voters, which is encouraging.
Harder, a Democrat, represents the much more competitive 10th District, which includes Ripon, Modesto, Turlock, and Patterson. He won his first term two years ago, when he defeated incumbent Republican Jeff Denham. Harder ended election night in 2018 down 4,500 votes, and was hesitant to declare victory on Tuesday, saying “we’re taking nothing for granted.”
“I ask everybody out there, as well as the media, to make sure that just like the presidential race that we’re being responsible about our pronouncements,” he said.
Harder won 59% of the vote, a comfortable victory over his opponent, Ted Howze, who won 41%. The race attracted some national attention in 2019. In February of that year, Harder was announced as one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)’s targeted candidates.
Howze was also named by the National Republican Congressional Committee a promising candidate in its Young Guns program, but was removed this May over a series of Islamophobic and offensive posts on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy later rescinded his endorsement of Howze, who claimed that he had not written the posts. Backlash over the posts effectively ended his chances of receiving significant national or party support to flip the district.