MODESTO (CBS13) – The race for the 10th Congressional District House of Representatives seat is in the national spotlight. Incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham took an early lead, but the Democrats still hope to flip the seat from red to blue and move towards a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Ultimately, this is a district that has a lot of the same challenges that we have across the entire country,” said Josh Harder, Democratic candidate for the 10th District.
Denham, a Republican, has won the U.S. Representative seat in the past three elections, beating Democratic challenger and beekeeper Michael Eggman in both 2016 and 2014.
“Jeff Denham is a man of the district, he cares about issues that are important: agriculture, water, protecting water rights, public safety,” said Joshua Whitfield, Denham’s campaign manager.
It’s the third time Eggman has put his hat in the race, but Whitfield told CBS13 the Denham campaign isn’t worried this time around.
“Perhaps it’s time for someone else on the third try,” he said.
Early results show that may be the case. Democrat Josh Harder was leading Eggman for the No. 2 slot in November as of midnight on Wednesday.
“The stakes are huge and we got to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure those stakes are won,” Harder told CBS13.
But some voters like Crystal Shugar say why fix what isn’t broken!
“I actually voted for Denham,” she said. “I think he’s doing a great job right now. So far everything seems to be peaceful enough.”
Back in 2016, Eggman lost to Denham by just a few points, the same year Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the same district. And that gave Democrats hope that 2018 would be their year.
“We’ve gotten all of these people to grow out from everywhere to help us to flip this district,” said Jess Self, President of Central Valley Democratic Club. “We hope that with this district changing, so will the nation.”
Looking at this on a national scale, Republicans currently have the majority in the US. House of Representatives with 235 seats to the Democrats’ 193 seats. To take control, the Democrats would need to pick up 23 seats, making this an important race for both parties to watch.