Umberg Sworn in; Nguyen Asks for Recount

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State Sen. Tom Umberg (center) with family and friends at his new Capitol office.

Democrat Tom Umberg was sworn as the next state senator from the 34th District on Monday at the State Capitol.

Umberg, a former assemblyman, edged out the Republican inumbent, Janet Nguyen, in the Nov. 6 election. Although intitial returns showed Nguyen ahead, Umberg surpassed her as more votes were counted. As of Dec. 7, he had 135,062 votes (50.6 percent) to Nguyen’s 131,973 (49.4 percent) — a margin of 3,089 votes.

However, Nguyen requested a partial recount of ballots in Orange County, Registrar of Voter Neal Kelley announced on Tuesday. The district also includes Long Beach in Los Angeles County.

Kelley said a voter in the district, on behalf of Nguyen, originally requested a recount of all votes in Orange County, but the request was scaled back to 12 precincts in Santa Ana. Nguyen also asked for a review of provisional ballots.

Nguyen, the first Vietnamese American woman elected to the State Legislature, won Orange County by two votes, while Umberg won in the Los Angeles County portion of the district.

Whoever requests a recount must pay for it. According to Kelley, the requested recount will cost about $10,000, while a county-wide recount could cost at least $400,000. The limited recount will take about two days and a full recount would take about 30 days, he said.

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