SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen has emerged as the second-place finisher in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who vacated the Orange County seat she has held for 20 years to run for U.S. Senate.
Nguyen will take on former state Sen. Lou Correa, a fellow Democrat. Under California's election rules, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party.
The Associated Press had awarded second place to Republican Bob Peterson, an Orange County sheriff's commander, but Nguyen overtook Peterson as thousands of absentee ballots were counted after the June 7 primary. Through Monday's updated count Nguyen's lead had grown to more than 1,600 votes.
Nguyen's campaign issued a statement Tuesday saying he was looking forward to the November election.
Peterson did not immediately respond to a message sent through his campaign website.
Two other California races where AP advanced a second-place finisher to November now have different candidates in runner-up positions.
In San Francisco, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi finished first by a wide margin in the 12th Congressional District and AP had Republican Bob Miller finishing second. Independent candidate Preston Picus now has a 35-vote lead over Miller.
In Orange County's 68th Assembly District, where Democrat Sean Jay Panahi easily finished first, two Republicans were battling for second. Irvine Mayor Steven Choi led restaurant owner Harry Sidhu by 50 votes.
California counties have until July 8 to complete their counts and report certified results to the secretary of state.