On a night when Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate, the San Joaquin Valley's GOP leaders had some celebrations of their own. In the 21st Congressional District, Republican incumbent David Valadao declared victory over Democratic challenger Amanda Renteria. Valadao's Kings County colleague Andy Vidak also appears headed back to Sacramento in his state senate contest against Democrat Luis Chavez.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night came in California's 16th Congressional District, where longtime Fresno Democrat Jim Costa trailed Republican challenger Johnny Tacherra all night, in a race that is almost certainly headed to a recount.
Another close race was the battle for Superior Court Judge in Fresno, with Lisa Gamoian holding a small lead over Rachel Hill.
But not all of Tuesday's contests were close. The Measure Z sales tax increase for Fresno's Chaffee Zoo easily reached the 2/3 majority needed to secure passage. And in Kern County, Assessor Recorder candidate Jon Lifquist easily defeated his opponent Russell Johnson.