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Democrat Harley Rouda Takes Lead in Fight to Take on O.C. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in 2018 Midterm Election

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, speaks during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 19, 2013. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, speaks during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 19, 2013. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Real estate investor Harley Rouda has overtaken fellow Democrat Hans Keirstead with a razor-thin 40-vote lead in the fight to take on Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in November.

There’s been a tight race for second place in the 48th Congressional District since the June 5 primary as tens of thousands of provisional and late-arriving mail ballots have been tallied. The latest vote count released by Orange County elections officials Monday upended Keirstead’s nearly two-week lead since election night.

National Democrats had expected Rouda’s vote count to expand as election officials started counting provisional and late-arriving mail ballots. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the closing days of the campaign to support Rouda. The ads run by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has signaled it believes Rouda is a stronger match against Rohrabacher, were meant to hit voters who cast their votes at the last minute.

The campaigns have largely gone silent as they wait for votes to be counted, though Rouda has sent out fundraising emails for a “recount fund,” which he later called an “election protection” fund.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.