Incumbent Democrat Rep. Jerry McNerney and Republican Ricky Gill will face off in the November election, and both said their No. 1 priority is jump-starting the economy.
With all of the 429 precincts reporting Wednesday afternoon, McNerney led the three candidates with 35,088 votes, or 48.4 percent, and Gill came in second with 28,652 votes, or 39.5 percent. John McDonald, also a Republican, was knocked out of the race after receiving only 8,792 votes, or 12.1 percent.
McNerney, 60, had anticipated being on the ballot, so the campaign was already gearing up for the general election, spokeswoman Lauren Smith said.
"I'm really a firm believer that not only are the numbers in our favor, but the congressman has the resources at his disposal to be successful in November," Smith said.
McNerney is near the end of his third two-year term in Congress. He moved from Pleasanton to Stockton on May 1, since the new 9th Congressional District is centered in San Joaquin County.
Gill, who turned 25 years old in May, was encouraged by the results and feels like it is a good sign for election, spokesman Colin Hunter said.
"We finished very strong. The total number of Republican votes were significantly more than the total McNerney received," Hunter said.
Now that the election is over and there is one Republican candidate, the campaign plans to continue reaching out to voters.
"We hope to unify the base and also begin to reach out to lots of Democrats and Independents who have not had a chance to meet Ricky just yet," Hunter said.
Gill was born and raised in Lodi, and said he knows more about San Joaquin County issues because of his roots in the area.
When it comes to raising money, McNerney plans to depend on his key supporters for fundraising.
"Obviously, it does take funding to handle an election of this caliber," Smith said. "Fortunately, the congressman has always had grassroots support and the resources to run a competitive campaign all the way through."
Gill also has been pleased with his fundraising efforts, Hunter said, and plans to continue asking for support.
"Fundraising is a necessary part of running a competitive congressional race, and we have been successful so far," he said.
McNerney will focus on the same main issues he has always advocated while in Congress, Smith said.
"He has represented the district for five and a half years, so he has gotten to know the people and the issues that matter," Smith said.
His main concern will be fixing unemployment. He is looking at ways to create jobs while also preventing them from being shipped overseas.
McNerney has always supported maintaining the Delta, Smith said, and will continue to strongly oppose a Peripheral Canal. The proposed canal would transport Northern California water to Southern California and southern San Joaquin Valley.
He also plans to continue taking up veterans' causes, Smith said.
"It's a responsibility he takes personally, fighting for our veteran men and women," she said.
The main issue for Gill is getting the economy going and putting "our neighbors back to work," Hunter said.
"Unemployment has doubled under McNerney's watch and he needs to be held accountable," Hunter said. "That will be a consistent theme throughout the campaign."
McNerney is prepared for a challenge during the campaign, but confident in his record and supporters, Smith said.
"The congressman is no stranger to a close race. He's certainly prepared and has great support behind him," she said.
Hunter said the main challenge for Gill will be meeting as many people as possible before the November election, but they are confident in their campaign strategy.
"A Congressional district is a big place, and there are a lot of people to meet, but we are willing to work twice as hard," Gill said. "We are going to compete in every corner of this district."