With each post-election tally in the race to represent the 10th District in the California State Assembly, San Rafael City Councilman Marc Levine has extended his lead over Michael Allen.
That trend continued this week. With another nearly 26,000 votes tallied in Marin and Sonoma counties, Levine distanced himself yet again from his feisty challenger, who outraised and outspent him by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. Levine has garnered 81,680 of the 160,630 total votes cast, good for 51 percent of the vote to Allen's 49 percent.
"Every time they've released a new count, I've increased my lead," Levine said Saturday. "It's just a privilege to be chosen by the voters."
Levine is saying all the right things, acknowledging that there are still some 54,000 ballots yet to be counted in Marin and Sonoma counties. Those counts could extends past Thanksgiving.
"All of the outstanding ballots will and must be counted," Levine said. "But when the count is finished, we're confident that we'll have the votes we need to win."
Levine has already made an appearance before the Marin County Board of Supervisors to be celebrated as Marin's "assemblyman-elect," even though all five supervisors endorsed Allen in the race. He also has already been invited to and attended five days of training in Sacramento for new state Assembly members.
On the heels of a heated battle, the two candidates squared off late into the night on Nov. 6, with Levine garnering 50.6 of the 134,715 votes cast in Marin and portions of Sonoma County. That lead grew to 50.8 percent to 48.2 percent as of Nov. 9.
The results of the latest count, released late Friday afternoon, has Levine with an even more commanding lead in Marin. Levine has received 50,120 votes in Marin to Allen's 46,562, good for a 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent lead.
Allen, who moved to San Rafael after the 7th Assembly District he represented that included Napa County and parts of Sonoma and Solano counties was splintered by redistricting, could not be reached for comment.
In the immediate aftermath of election day, Allen declined to concede the race, saying it was "disrespectful to concede or declare victory at this point. We just need to count the votes."
Levine holds his lead despite being outspent by a considerable margin. Allen received more than $1.4 million in campaign contributions, including $700,000 from independent expenditure committees, while Levine only raised $253,000 in contributions and over $250,000 from independent expenditure committees.