Washington: Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera expressed optimism about retaining a California seat in the US House of Representatives even as he is trailing behind by a few thousands votes, hoping that the ballot yet to be counted would give him an edge over his Republican rival D Ose.
"We still have thousands of ballots left to count, but I feel very good about where we are today," Bera said as polling officials were counting votes.
Bera has so far got 53,272 votes as against Ose's 56,284 votes.
Two years ago in 2012, when Bera created history by being the third ever Indian-American to be elected to House of Representatives, it took several weeks before the final results were declared.
"Two years ago, we were tied on election night and we ended up winning by over 9,000 votes. And just like two years ago, our grassroots campaign was the largest of any Congressional race in the country, which is why I'm confident we will again come out on top once all the votes are counted," he said.
Ballots that were yet to be counted include vote by mail (VBM) ballots received but not yet signature verified, VBM ballots dropped off on Election Day, and provisional ballots, he said.
The Sacramento County Registrar must provide the Secretary of State a count of outstanding ballots by 5pm today.
In 2012, Bera's race was too close to call immediately after the election.
After the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters counted these types of ballots, Bera won with by a margin of 9,191 votes.
After Dalip Singh Saund and Bobby Jindal; Bera, a physician and son of immigrants from India, is the third ever Indian-American Congressman.
Former US President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama had campaigned for him.
Bera is also very active in the Indian-American community and a strong advocate of India-US relationship.