After holding a narrow lead for three weeks after election day, it looks like San Rafael Councilman Marc Levine will be heading to Sacramento.
Sonoma County certified their votes late Friday afternoon, and Marin County will certify their votes on Monday. Although Levine's opponent Michael Allen spent three times the amount on his campaign, the San Rafael councilman stayed in the lead as more and more provisional and mail-in ballots were counted. Out of a total of 188,394 votes for both counties, Levine had 96,421, or 51 percent of the vote.
"We still have to go through the office and make sure that all the votes are accounted for," Marin County Assistant Registrar of Voters Melvin Briones said. "But the count will likely stay the same and we'll certify on Monday."
Jared Huffman left the assembly seat, which represents Marin and parts of Sonoma County, after he decided to run for Congress when Representative Lynn Woolsey announced her retirement. Allen was the assemblyman for the 7th District that included parts of Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties, but moved to San Rafael after redistricting splintered his district.
"I don't think anyone thought we would be so competitive and win," Levine said Friday afternoon. "Campaigns are arduous. It's validating for the voters to have responded to the campaign. It shows that when you speak to issues, you'll succeed."
Levine was elected to the San Rafael City Council in November 2009, and has voted on several major local decisions, including the approval of Target, where he was the deciding vote in favor, and the city's agreement with minor league baseball team the San Rafael Pacifics.
"It's been a great pleasure working with you for the last three years," San Rafael Councilwoman Barbara Heller said at their Nov. 19 meeting. "And we know where your office is, so don't think you're rid of us."
Levine will be sworn in on as assemblyman on Dec. 3.