FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Joaquin Arambula declared victory. Clint Olivier conceded the special election. And the Arambula camp is confident they will stay above that all-important 50-percent threshold when all votes are counted.
Five thousand mail-in and provisional ballots still need to be sorted and counted in the 31st Assembly District special election. Arambula ended election night with a 52 over 42-percent edge and a 2,883 vote lead over Olivier.
"I think it's important for us to have a voice in Sacramento. Currently, we don't have one, and so, by winning this seat outright we actually would be able to have a champion in Sacramento starting next week," said Arambula.
"I'm looking at coming back and really putting up the kind of numbers that we need to put up to get into the June runoff," said Olivier.
But that will be difficult. Arambula is confident he'll maintain at least 50-percent of the vote to avoid a runoff to complete Perea's term which ends in December.
"I'm just excited about the opportunity to succeed, and for us to continue to carry over this momentum forward," said Arambula.
Right now county elections employees are tallying up thousands of ballots for the special election.
"We have about 2,900 vote by mail ballot envelopes that were returned yesterday, and, we have about 2,100 provisional's that we'll be processing after that," said Brandi Orth, Fresno County Clerk.
On Friday, we'll learn the results of those mail-in ballots, but then in June a two-year term in the 31st Assembly District is at stake.
Arambula and Olivier are expected to move on to a third showdown come November.