Gooch calls off recount in Inland Empire Congressional primary

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Republican candidate Lesli Gooch has pulled the plug on her recount in the 31st Congressional District.

Gooch's team called off the recount about 9 p.m. Wednesday, after a manual count revealed just a one-vote difference in Gooch's favor, said San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Michael Scarpello. A single ballot had been very lightly marked and not counted by machine, but it was included in the manual count.

Gooch had placed third in the primary for the district that covers the Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino and Redlands areas. She was hoping to close a 209-vote gap on the second place finisher, Democrat Pete Aguilar, who is also the mayor of Redlands. But after one day of counting and more than $6,000 in expenses, she put out a notice late Wednesday that she wasn't going to continue the count and was instead moving on.

"This was an important process and a critical election. I am comfortable that we have done our due diligence for the voters of the 31st District," Gooch wrote in the statement.

Gooch continued:

I entered this race determined that we should not let this seat become a rubber stamp for a failed vision for American prosperity but rather a source of relief for Inland Empire families and businesses.  I had never planned to be a candidate for public office but, I stepped forward despite the significant sacrifices required of my family because I believe so strongly in the work of our retiring Congressman Gary Miller and the vision that the Republican Party has for the future of our great country.

The contest now moves forward into the general election, where Aguilar will face the first place finisher, Republican businessman Paul Chabot.

With contributions by KPCC staff

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