Democrat Jerry McNerney was re-elected in the 9th Congressional District on Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger Ricky Gill of Lodi.
With all 478 precincts reporting, unofficial results show McNerney received 86,128 votes (54.1 percent) and Gill received 73,103 votes (45.9 percent). The results were last updated at 6:34 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012.
Despite being behind, Gill told supporters at the Stockton Hilton on Tuesday night that he expected to catch up.
“I am here to tell you we intend to win this race,” Gill said at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday. “It might be a long night.”
Gill said campaign workers and volunteers told him that having a congressman from San Joaquin County who is knowledgeable about the issues here is the most important factor in the campaign.
During the last several months, the McNerney and Gill campaigns have run media blitzes with the millions of dollars they have raised. As of Oct. 17, McNerney had received $2.2 million in contributions, while Gill had raised $2.6 million, according to the Federal Election Commission website. The totals include contributions from political action committees, transfers from other authorized committees, and loans.
They have become TV regulars, with campaign commercials saturating cable channels and numerous channels in the Sacramento region. Both candidates had their share of sharply worded attacks on their opponent in campaign mailers within the district and in emails to the media.
McNerney, who is completing his third two-year term at the end of this year, describes himself as a moderate Democrat who reaches out to veterans and is seeking more jobs in the district.
During his six years in Congress, McNerney’s district included San Joaquin County, parts of the Livermore and San Ramon valleys and the south Santa Clara County community of Morgan Hill.
Newly drawn district maps created District 9, which eliminates the Livermore and San Ramon valleys along with Morgan Hill. Beginning in January, the district will include San Joaquin County, Galt, Brentwood and Antioch.
Gill, 25, was born at Lodi Memorial Hospital and lived in Lodi his entire life except for his college years. He campaigned on the premise that as a lifelong resident, he knows more about the Lodi area and San Joaquin County than McNerney, who lived in Pleasanton and rented a second home in Stockton this year.
Gill says he is more of a friend to agriculture than McNerney, and will also be loyal to local veterans. He has the support of the San Joaquin and California Farm Bureaus, and such notable Republicans as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. He also accuses McNerney of being a tax-and-spend Democrat who helped increase the national debt.
McNerney says that at the age of 25, Gill is seeking a congressional seat as an entry-level position without having a real job.
However, Gill was viewed favorably by national Republican leaders and spoke at the Republican National Convention.
Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Stockton, running for the State Senate against Cathleen Galgiani, told supporters that Gill and his family were great to work with during the campaign.
“Ricky is the most amazing young candidate I’ve ever seen,” Berryhill said Tuesday. “He put great people around him. Ricky Gill has a great future with the Republican Party. I hope it starts tonight.”
McNerney was not immediately available for comment.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.