By DEREK MOORE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Even as his opponent prepares to be sworn into office Monday, Michael Allen reiterated that he won’t concede the race for the 10th Assembly District seat until every last vote is counted.
That could happen by Friday, when an estimated 15,000 provisional and absentee ballots in Sonoma County finally are tallied and the results of the Nov. 7 election are certified, according to county elections chief Janice Atkinson.
Odds are the outstanding ballots won’t alter the outcome of the race. At last count, San Rafael City Councilman Marc Levine held a slim but statistically significant lead over Allen of 3,468 votes.
“I have just decided to accept the outcome of the final vote count and then move forward,” Allen said Tuesday.
Anticipating the outcome, Allen’s staffers are circulating their resumes and applying for new jobs.
Allen, meanwhile, said he has been “recuperating” since Election Day from the rigors of working in Sacramento while also campaigning for the 10th District seat.
The Santa Rosa Democrat was elected to the Assembly in 2010, but because of redistricting he had to move from Santa Rosa to Marin County and reintroduce himself to voters. The 10th District spans Marin County, part of Santa Rosa and portions of western and southern Sonoma County.
Allen and Levine, who also is a Democrat, squared off under a new system that sends the top two vote-winners in the primary to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.
If the results stand, Allen, a former registered nurse and labor leader, will be out of a job. He said Tuesday it was “too soon to speculate” on his future.
“I do know that my legislative work and leadership is valued in the Capitol,” he said.
Levine, in the meantime, was pressing forward this week with his transition plans.
“It’s clear that we’ve won,” he said. “The math is on our side. From Election Day on, our lead has only grown.”
Levine said he has participated in training sessions for new legislators and was offered a tour of potential offices at the Capitol.
He has hired Michael Miiller to be his chief of staff. Miiller’s tenure in Sacramento includes stints with former legislators Don Perata and Carole Migden.
Levine, who campaigned on an anti-Sacramento theme, defended his choice of Miiller, saying he “shares my political philosophy and vision that local issues must be represented in Sacramento.”
He also struck a conciliatory tone toward Allen despite their bruising campaign battle and Allen’s refusal to concede the race.
“The important thing, of course, is that every vote must and will be counted,” Levine said.
Levine said he expects to be sworn in Monday along with other legislators.
Sonoma County has until Tuesday to certify its election results, but Atkinson said she was pushing to have everything wrapped up before the weekend.
You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @deadlinederek.