Marc Levine
Marc Levine. Campaign photo

Democratic Assemblyman Marc Levine Wednesday conceded the race for the second spot on the November ballot for insurance commissioner to Republican Robert Howell after once holding a 13,565-vote lead.

Howell entered Wednesday’s resumption of the count of unprocessed ballots with a 4,921-vote lead and increased the lead to 6,393, according to figures released Wednesday morning by the Secretary of State’s Office.

“There simply aren’t enough uncounted ballots left to change the outcome of the election. That is why today I’m congratulating Ricardo Lara and Robert Howell on advancing to the general election,” Levine, D-San Rafael, wrote on social media.

“I also believe it’s important for any candidate or campaign in our position to publicly accept the outcome of the election, voice our confidence in the system, and in our case, thank the 58 county registrars throughout California for conducting a free and fair election, one of the hallmarks of our democracy.

“Along with our secretary of state, our registrars play a vital role as stewards of our shared sacred rite of democratic elections and I applaud them and every election worker and volunteer who did their part this year.”

In slightly updated figures released later Wednesday, Howell had a 6,452-vote lead, 1,211,016 votes to 1,204,564. Howell had 18.1% of the vote in the nine-candidate field, Levine 18%. Lara, the Democratic incumbent, had 2,406,944, 35.9%.

An estimated 81,764 ballots remain unprocessed from the June 7 primary, including 68,500 from San Diego County, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Howell was 31,232 votes ahead of Levine when semi-official results were released June 8. Levine moved into second on June 20, taking a 4,481-vote lead. He increased his lead to 9,919 votes June 21 and 13,565 when counting concluded June 22.

Howell, a cybersecurity equipment manufacturer, cut the deficit to 12,224 votes June 23, 480on June 24 and 123 on June 27.

Howell moved back into second place June 28, taking a 4,939-vote lead. His lead dropped to 4,921 June 29, the latest update before Wednesday.

The nine candidates — four Democrats, two Republicans, one candidate each from the Green and Peace and Freedom parties and one with no party preference candidate — have received 6,699,065 votes.

County elections officials must report final official results to the Secretary of State by Thursday. Secretary of State Shirley Weber will certify the results on July 15.

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