Tuesday night at her campaign headquarters at the Lake Elsinore Outlets, 67th State Assembly District candidate Melissa Melendez watched election results slowly trickle in—she was slightly behind.
“We expected to be down a little in the beginning,” the Republican candidate said as she was surrounded by her husband and children.
But as daylight broke Wednesday, the Lake Elsinore City Councilwoman pulled ahead of her GOP opponent, French Valley resident Phil Paule.
“It’s been a lot of ups and downs,” Melendez said Tuesday night. “Sometimes you feel solid and sometimes not so.”
As of the Riverside County Registrar's latest count at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Melendez had 51.32 percent of the vote to Paule's 48.68 percent.
The next batch of results was due out by 6 p.m. Thursday, the registrar's office said in a Facebook statement.
"Approximately, 105,000 vote-by-mail, 60,000 provisional, and 18,000 damaged ballots that require duplication still must be processed. Work on those ballots begins today," the registrar's office wrote.
The Melendez/Paule contest has been a horse race from the start, but the councilwoman has fought hard against the aide to Rep. Darrell Issa.
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support and look forward to representing with dignity and class in Sacramento,” she said.