SACRAMENTO — Rep. Ami Bera (D-Sacramento) has been declared the winner in a close race for the 7th Congressional District seat.
As of Nov. 23, Bera, who was first elected in 2012, received 142,454 votes (51.0 percent) to Republican Scott Jones’ 136,819 (49.0 percent) in the Nov. 8 election. Jones is the sheriff of Sacramento County.
The district covers eastern Sacramento County, including the cities of Elk Grove, Folsom and Rancho Cordova.
Bera, who is also a doctor, is a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the only Indian American currently serving in Congress. Next year he will be joined by fellow Democrats Ro Khanna of Silicon Valley, Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, and Pramila Jayapal of Washington in the House and Kamala Harris of California in the Senate.
Bera’s re-election brings to 18 the number of Asian American and Pacific Islander members of Congress.
Bera’s win also ties him with the late Democratic Rep. Dalip Singh Saund, who represented the Riverside area from 1957 to 1963, for the most House re-elections by an Indian American.
“It’s been my honor to serve this community first as a doctor and for these past four years as a member of Congress,” Bera said in a statement. “I’m incredibly thankful for the hundreds of volunteers who knocked doors and made phone calls during this campaign because they believe in standing up for women’s access to health care, protecting Medicare and Social Security, and ensuring all of our veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned. After months of a divisive national election, our job now is to bring our country back together.”
Jones thanked his family and supporters and said, “Although there were difficult aspects of the race, I do not regret running and am extremely proud of the campaign that we ran … I am proud to continue to have the opportunity to serve as your faithful sheriff.”
The campaign included scandals on both sides. Bera’s father was sentenced to a year in prison last August for illegally funneling money to two of the congressman’s past campaigns. Bera denied knowing about his father’s actions, and federal investigators said they found no evidence of his involvement.
Jones was accused of sexual harassment by a female deputy who worked with him at the Sheriff’s Department. Jones denied the allegations.
For months, Bera also criticized Jones for his support of Donald Trump, but Jones later dropped his endorsement.