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Republican Calls for Recount in Targeted California Race

Miller, a California Republican, is retiring. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Lesli Gooch's campaign called for a recount Wednesday evening in California's 31st District, a top pick-up opportunity for Democrats in 2014.  

"We have been in consultation with campaign attorneys and polling data experts over the past several days. They feel a recount is warranted and have identified precincts that will be recounted," Gooch's campaign said in a news release.  

Gooch trails Democrat Pete Aguilar for second place by 209 votes and therefore faces long odds to victory in the recount. Her campaign had until Wednesday to determine whether to call for a recount — a costly endeavor they must pay for out of pocket.  

In California's primary, the top two vote recipients proceed to the general election, regardless of party. Democrats need Aguilar to advance to the general election to have any shot at competing here this fall, as businessman Paul Chabot has already secured the first-place spot  in the top-two primary.  

In 2012, GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller and another Republican advanced in this district, ensuring a Republican victory in what should have been a safe Democratic seat. President Barack Obama carried this district with 57 percent last cycle.

Miller is retiring after his current term expires, leaving the seat open in November.

Democrats were shut out of the neighboring 25th District this cycle, after two Republicans advanced through the primary on June 3.  

With the current field, California's 31st District is rated a Leans Democrat contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.