Incumbent GOP Rep. Jeff Denham will defeat Michael Eggman in a rematch for California’s 10th Congressional District, The Associated Press projected Wednesday morning.
Denham sought to overcome Republican fears that voters turned off by presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric might choose to stay home on Election Day, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Denham will win another term representing the Northern California district that includes the heart of San Joaquin Valley, encompassing some of the nation's richest farmland.
The race was rated Leans Republican by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call, but Democrats grew increasingly confident in their chances as Election Day grew closer.
Republicans initially dismissed Eggman, considering Denham defeated him by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin in 2014 and outpaced him, 48 percent to 28 percent, in the June 2016 primary. But Eggman and the Democrats had the broadcast television airwaves to themselves for the first two weeks in October, tied the congressman to Donald Trump, and made the race more competitive than expected.
Eggman, a beekeeper, spent this campaign lambasting his opponent’s support of Trump along with his wealth, at one point launching a street campaign that advertised living next to Denham’s $600,000 Washington, D.C., condo.
“The condo may be 2,800 miles from Modesto, but it’s mere blocks from special interest groups, lobbying offices, and the new Trump luxury hotel,” Eggman’s campaign wrote. “Denham ought to have special privileges there since he helped Trump secure the lease.”
Denham, who won a fourth term, highlighted a string of endorsements from the county sheriff to a local farm bureau. He serves on the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure committees, where he addresses California's water issues.
He joined the Air Force as a teenager and was a member of the Air Force Reserve until 2000. He served in both Iraq and Somalia, and he now sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee.