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2018 California's 10th congressional district election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2018 California's 10th congressional district election

← 2016 November 6, 2018 2020 →
Josh Harder, official portrait, 116th Congress (cropped).jpg
Jeff Denham official congressional photo (cropped).jpg
Candidate Josh Harder Jeff Denham
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 115,945 105,955
Percentage 52.25% 47.75%

County results
Harder:      50–60%

U.S. Representative before election

Jeff Denham

Elected U.S. Representative

Josh Harder

The 2018 California's 10th congressional district election was held November 6, 2018, to determine the U.S. congressional representative for California's 10th congressional district (CA-10). The district is based in the Central Valley and includes Modesto and Tracy. Republican Jeff Denham, who has represented the 10th district since 2013 and previously represented the 19th district from 2011 to 2013, ran for re-election. He faced six Democrats and one Republican in the primary election.

California's 10th district was included on the list of Republican-held seats being targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 2018.[1] This race concerned the DCCC and other Democratic groups due to the possibility that two Republicans might advance to the general election because of California's jungle primary rules.[2] However, Denham and Democratic candidate Josh Harder prevailed on June 5, 2018, advancing to the general election the following November.

In September 2018, both FiveThirtyEight and The Economist projected that Harder had at least a 63% chance of defeating Denham.[3][4] Josh Harder won the general election held on November 6, though Jeff Denham led the reported vote count for several days.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Denham conceded defeat on November 14.[12]

Primary election

By May 2017, there were three challengers who had announced their candidacies, including Josh Harder.[13] Many Democratic candidates participated in debates that were held between September 2017 and January 2018.[14][15][16] Following the January debate, the Indivisible chapter in Manteca published a poll suggesting that TJ Cox was the preferred candidate for the Democratic nomination, followed by Harder and Virginia Madueño (the former mayor of Riverbank).[17] In a January 2018 caucus vote, Harder received 40% and Cox received 39% of the vote, resulting in no endorsement of either candidate.[18] Shortly thereafter, Michael Eggman also entered the 2018 race.[18] Eggman was Jeff Denham's general election opponent in the 2014 election and the 2016 election for the district.

Immediately prior to the March 2018 filing deadline, Cox withdrew from this race, and Republican Ted Howze entered. Cox withdrew from the CA-10 race in order to compete in the election in California's 21st congressional district (CA-21).[19][20] CA-21 had no Democratic candidates prior to Cox's move, due to Emilio Huerta (the prior Democratic candidate) dropping out of the race.[21] Republican Ted Howze also entered the race in March 2018.[22]

The Modesto Bee wrote on May 12, 2018, that “Jeff Denham is going to be hard to beat.” By this point, the original field of Democratic candidates had been cut in half from ten. In addition to Harder, Eggman, and Madueño, they included Sue Zwahlen (a former ER nurse and school board member), and Michael Barkley (a lawyer, accountant, and computer programmer).[23][24]

Denham received first place in the primary, with Harder receiving second place with 16.7% of the vote.[25] On election night, it appeared that Harder would only narrowly defeat Republican Ted Howze with less than one thousand votes.[2] But the final returns put Harder ahead of Howze by over 3,000 votes.


Poll source Date(s)
of error
Denham (R)
Eggman (D)
Harder (D)
Madueño (D)
Zwahlen (D)
Benenson Strategy Group (D-Harder) May 2–6, 2018 550 ± 4.2% 42% 10% 13% 6% 6% 5%[26]


Results by county: .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Denham—30–40%
Results by county:
California's 10th district primary election, 2018[27]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Denham (incumbent) 45,719 37.55%
Democratic Josh Harder 20,742 17.04%
Republican Ted D. Howze 17,723 14.56%
Democratic Michael Eggman 12,446 10.22%
Democratic Virginia Madueño 11,178 9.18%
Democratic Sue Zwahlen 9,945 8.17%
Democratic Michael J. "Mike" Barkley 2,904 2.39%
Democratic Dotty Nygard 1,100 0.90%
Total votes 121,757 100%

General election

As a result of California's jungle primary system, only Jeff Denham and Josh Harder advanced to the general election ballot.[28] In September 2018, both FiveThirtyEight and The Economist projected that Harder had at least a 63% chance of defeating Denham.[3][4]


Jeff Denham

Denham was the Republican Party incumbent who ran for re-election in 2018. He originally won election to the U.S. House in 2010 by defeating Democrat Loraine Goodwin, representing California's 19th congressional district (succeeding prior Republican incumbent George Radanovich). He served there for one term before redistricting led him to win his return to Congress in the 10th district in 2012, which he represented since 2013.

Prior to serving in U.S. House of Representatives, Denham served in the California State Senate, representing California's 12th State Senate district from 2002 to 2010. Prior to seeking political office, Denham served on active and reserve status in the United States Air Force for 16 years, and served in both Operation Desert Storm in Iraq and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.

Josh Harder

Harder speaking at a get out the vote event during his 2018 campaign.
Harder speaking at a get out the vote event during his 2018 campaign.

Harder was one of the first candidates to enter the primary race in May 2017, shortly after moving back to the district and assuming a teaching role at Modesto Junior College.[13][29] Prior to 2017, Harder held an executive role at venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners.

Harder was born in Turlock, California, and graduated from Modesto High School.[30][31] He earned political science and economics undergraduate degrees from Stanford University, as well as a joint MBA/MPP from Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.[32][33] Harder worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for Bessemer Venture Partners for three years and before moving back to Turlock.[29] Harder taught business at Modesto Junior College.[34]

During the 2018 general election campaign, Harder and his wife, Pamela, were married near her home town of Reston, Virginia.[35]


Josh Harder



Poll source Date(s)
of error
Denham (R)
Harder (D)
NYT Upshot/Siena College October 21–25, 2018 501 ± 4.9% 45% 47% 8%
UC Berkeley September 16–23, 2018 726 ± 5.0% 45% 50% 5%
Garin-Hart-Yang Research (D) June 27 – July 1, 2018 501 48% 48% 4%
ALG Research (D-Eggman) March 13–15, 2018 400 48% 37% 15%


On election night and for the first three days following the election, Jeff Denham held a lead in the reported results.[5] On Friday, November 9, an update was published after tallying many of the absentee ballots that arrived in the days following the election, putting Harder in the lead.[6][7][8][9][10][11] On November 13, AP News projected that Democrat Josh Harder would win the election, with Denham conceding the following day.[12]

California's 10th district general election, 2018[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Harder 115,945 52.25%
Republican Jeff Denham (incumbent) 105,955 47.75%
Total votes 221,900 100%
Democratic gain from Republican

Results by county

Results by county. Harder won both counties. Blue represents counties won by Harder.

County Denham (R) Harder (D) Total
Votes % Votes % Votes
San Joaquin 30,609 47.0% 34,553 53.0% 65,162
Stanislaus 75,346 48.1% 81,392 51.9% 156,738
Totals 105,955 47.7% 115,945 52.3% 221,900


  1. ^ Kelly, Meredith (May 22, 2017). "Charging Forward, DCCC Announces Battlefield Expansion" (PDF). DCCC Communications Director. Letter to Interested Parties.
  2. ^ a b Martin, Jonathan (June 6, 2018). "Democrats Find Relief in California House Race Results". New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Silver, Nate (August 16, 2018). "California 10th - 2018 House Forecast". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Who's ahead in the mid-term race". The Economist. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Schleifer, Theodore (November 7, 2018). "Josh Harder is in a dead heat in his congressional race to become the only venture capitalist in the House of Representatives". Recode. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Denham vs Harder: Democrat ahead in heated house race for California's 10th District". KXTV. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Finnegan, Maya; Sweedler, Michael. "GOP Rep. Denham falls behind Democrat as 3 other Republicans lose ground in Friday's ballot tally". Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "CA House race turnaround: Democrat Josh Harder leads GOP Rep. Jeff Denham". November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Blood, Michael R. "Democrats gain ground in California US House battles". AP via WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach, SC. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Democrat Harder ousts California GOP US Rep. Denham". AP NEWS. November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "2018 California General Election Results". Election Results. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Bradner, Eric. "Democrats pick up two more House seats as Denham, MacArthur concede". CNN. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Wire, Sarah D; Central Valley's Jeff Denham gets new 2018 challenger; LA Times; May 3, 2017;
  14. ^ Stanislaus Co Dems (September 7, 2017). "Central Valley Democratic Club Presents". @stancodems account on Twitter. Retrieved November 11, 2018. US House of Representatives Candidate Debate, California's 10th Congressional District 9-20 @ 7:00p
  15. ^ Richard Anderson (September 25, 2017), Democratic Candidates for CA House District 10 Debate, retrieved November 11, 2018
  16. ^ Stapley, Garth (January 6, 2018). "Denham venom plentiful at standing-room-only Democratic debate". The Modesto Bee. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  17. ^ "Indivisible Manteca on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Eggman changes his mind, enters race against Denham once more". modbee. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  19. ^ "Cox Upends CA-10, Switches to CA-21". Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  20. ^ "Candidates wanted: Can Dems conquer Central Valley congressional seat?". The Mercury News. March 8, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  21. ^ "Emilio Huerta drops out of congressional race against David Valadao". fresnobee. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  22. ^ Stapley, Garth (October 3, 2018). "Howze, eyeing 2020 race, gets big bucks from Denham after opposing him in June primary". The Modesto Bee. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  23. ^ Denham will be there in November, but who will face him? It’s a hard choice; Modesto Bee; May 12, 2018;
  24. ^ Padilla, Alex (March 29, 2018). "Secretary of State Padilla Certifies Candidate List for June 5, 2018 Statewide Direct Primary Election". California Secretary of State. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  25. ^ "California Election Results: 10th House District". New York Times. June 11, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  26. ^ Ted Howze (R) 4%, Mike Barkley (D) 1%
  27. ^ "2018 California primary election results" (PDF). Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  28. ^ "Harder readies to face Denham". Turlock Journal. June 8, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  29. ^ a b Merica, Dan (May 30, 2018). "A beekeeper and a venture capitalist are among candidates facing off to turn this California district blue - CNNPolitics". Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  30. ^ "Josh Harder — Tracy Press-Patterson Irrigator candidate questionnaire". Golden State Newspapers. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  31. ^ "Central Valley Democrats fighting to unseat Republican Jeff Denham spar over local ties". The Mercury News. May 31, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  32. ^ Schleifer, Theodore (September 20, 2018). "A venture capitalist is running for Congress in farm country. And his opponent is turning those Silicon Valley years into an insult". Recode. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  33. ^ "About Josh". Josh Harder for Congress. Archived from the original on November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  34. ^ Stapley, Garth (November 6, 2018). "CA election results: Denham winning against Harder | Stanislaus | The Modesto Bee". Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  35. ^ "Pamela Sud, Joshua Harder - The New York Times". The New York Times. August 12, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  36. ^ Barack Obama [@BarackObama] (August 1, 2018). "Today I'm proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates – leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they're running to represent:" (Tweet). Retrieved August 1, 2018 – via Twitter.
  37. ^ "Endorsements - League of Conservation Voters". March 14, 2017. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  38. ^ "Endorsements - Josh Harder for Congress". Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  39. ^ "Endorsements | Sierra Club #ClimateVoter Guide". July 16, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  40. ^ "2018 California general election results" (PDF). Retrieved June 10, 2019.
This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 15:11
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