In a stunning turnabout, Democrat Loretta Sanchez took an apparently insurmountable lead over outspoken Republican Robert K. Dornan in the race for the 46th Congressional District as absentee ballots were counted Tuesday.
Sanchez, who had been behind by 233 votes after the Nov. 5 election, moved 929 votes ahead of Dornan with only about 1,000 left to count and appears impossible to beat.
“Goliath has been slain and David, in the name of Loretta, is on the way to Washington,” said Sanchez’s campaign manager, John Shallman.
Dornan, the fiery conservative who has held the seat for 12 years, conceded it would be extremely difficult to make up the vote deficit. But he said he has no intention of surrendering without a fight.
Dornan said Sanchez “ran a dirty campaign and she is unqualified.”
“I’m a little surprised at the number of ballots from Santa Ana,” said Dornan. He said he suspected large numbers of non-citizens voted.
“I’m going to contest it with the House on (grounds of) non-citizen voting,” Dornan said.
He said he’ll ask Speaker Newt Gingrich to have the House check “every registered voter in the district” against citizenship files.
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