Incumbent Congressman Tom McClintock held a healthy lead over Democratic challenger Jack Uppal in the race to represent California’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, unofficial results showed.
McClintock had 146,703 votes (61 percent) to Uppal’s 92,335 votes (39 percent), according to unofficial election results released by the California Secretary of State.
About 80 percent (548 of 682) precincts in the district had reported results as of 12:20 a.m.
Those numbers coincided closely with voters in both Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. McClintock led Uppal with 10,498 votes (about 59 percent) in Tuolumne County and 10,682 votes (about 60 percent) in Calaveras, according to the final unofficial results.
“First and foremost I want to thank the people of the Fourth Congressional District for their overwhelming endorsement to continue championing the founding principles of our nation in Washington,” he said, though he wasn’t ready to outright declare victory Tuesday night.
The two campaigns couldn’t have been further apart in both message and fundraising. McClintock accrued a war chest of more than $1 million trumping Uppal’s roughly $50,000 in contributions since the beginning of the year.
Uppal said he thought it was “way too early” to concede defeat Tuesday night.
“We’re still holding off,” he said. “And we probably won’t know until much later tonight or tomorrow.”
No matter the result, Uppal said he was pleased with the “positive” campaign that he ran despite the disparity in financial support.
“We didn’t expect to be able to keep it as close as it’s been,” he said.
According to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks money in politics, most of McClintock’s financial support came from retired citizens and industries including oil and gas, real estate, and agriculture.
McClintock, a veteran politician and the current 4th District Representative who has at times serves as a state senator and assemblyman, was quick to point out that a large portion of his expenditures went to support other Republican campaigns and causes.
“Only a fraction went to actually communicating with voters and much of it was used to help other candidates,” he said.
The Center for Responsive Politics reported McClintock’s campaign made six payments totaling $232,630 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Uppal, born in India and raised partly in New York, is a newcomer to politics. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked for 28 years manufacturing integrated circuits and semiconductors for Silicon Valley tech firms.
He expressed support for public logging projects that he believes would bring more jobs to the district and called for more federal investments in research and technology.
Meanwhile, McClintock campaigned on a seven-point plan that he said would help lift the country’s economy out of its downturn.
The plan called for cutting taxes on the highest marginal tax rate for individuals and corporations and removing regulations believed to be stifling industries, among other suggestions.