Politics

​Review of California Democratic Party election begins

File: Kimberly Ellis addresses the California Democratic Party convention Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Sacramento.
File: Kimberly Ellis addresses the California Democratic Party convention Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Sacramento.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Supporters of defeated California Democratic Party chair candidate Kimberly Ellis began poring over election ballots Tuesday to validate the results.

Longtime party insider Eric Bauman won by a mere 62 votes out of nearly 3,000 cast Saturday — an unusually high turnout in a party election.

The result surprised and angered Ellis supporters, many of whom were inspired by Sen. Bernie Sanders to get involved in Democratic Party politics.

Ellis has not conceded but said in a statement Monday that she'll congratulate Bauman if his victory is confirmed. Her review, which she's labeled an audit of the results, is being led by former party controller Hilary Crosby.

She called for Bauman to recuse himself from any involvement, including communication with party staff.

"The validation of the election can only come from confidence that the process was fair and impartial," Ellis said in her statement.

A spokesman for Bauman, Steven Maviglio, said it's common for ballots, which are not secret, to be reviewed after the vote.

Bauman, meanwhile, has taken the reins of the party. He said Monday that he'd met with the party's other newly elected officers to begin transition plans.

Bauman was previously the party vice chair and the longtime head of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. He was favored by most of California's elected Democrats.

Ellis, the former head of an organization that trains women to run for office, lined up support from the influential California Nurses Association and from many Sanders loyalists with a campaign pledging to diminish the role of corporate money in politics.