Sanchez Holds Insurmountable Lead Over Nine-Term U.S. Rep. Bob Dornan
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Democrat Loretta Sanchez has defeated conservative firebrand U.S. Rep. Bob Dornan, one of Congress’ most colorful and confrontational members, results of an ongoing official vote count showed Thursday.
``Like we’ve said for the last week or so, it’s over,″ said Dan Shallman, Sanchez’ deputy campaign manager. ``There’s no doubt this is an insurmountable lead and we’re thrilled.″
A spokesman said Dornan wasn’t surprised and reiterated the Republican’s claim that voter fraud cost him a 10th term.
Sanchez, a political novice who was a Republican until 1992, held a 665-vote lead over Dornan, 47,205 to 46,540, with as many as 15,000 provisional ballots untallied countywide.
Orange County Registrar of Voters Rosalyn Lever said Thursday she had determined that 1,300 of those provisional ballots applied to the 46th District _ meaning Dornan would have to win 983 of them, or 75.6 percent, to win.
Lever said she hoped to count the remaining 1,300 provisional ballots Friday.
Provisional ballots are granted to voters whose identifications, addresses or other information can’t immediately be verified.
``The congressman is not expecting them to go his way,″ said Richard Diamond, Dornan’s spokesman in Washington, D.C., who said Dornan would await more updated results Friday before commenting himself.
``A lot of the provisional ballots are the result of the motor-voter law and the laxness in the California registration and voting process. So it won’t be a surprise to the congressman,″ Diamond said.
Dornan, known nationally for his fiery opposition to abortion and communism and his bombastic attacks on President Clinton, has claimed noncitizens voted and asserted ballot boxes were not securely transported. He even predicted Monday that he would fall further behind as the ballot count progressed.
Sanchez said the allegations of voter fraud were anti-Hispanic and insulting to ``the will of the people″ in the district.
Sanchez was in Washington assembling a transition team and ``just getting prepared to be a member of the 105th Congress,″ said deputy campaign manager Dan Shallman.
Dornan has sent what he said is evidence of voter fraud to state officials. In a terse letter released Thursday, Secretary of State Bill Jones told Dornan he would inform the congressman whether his investigators found anything to merit an inquiry. Jones has also told Dornan he does not have authority to block certification of the results.