Election 2012: Jose Hernandez Loses California Congressional Race

Former NASA astronaut and Democratic congressional candidate Jose Hernandez lost his race in California’s 10th District to incumbent Republican Jeff Denham in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

The Mexican-American former NASA astronaut grew up working in the fields in Modesto with his parents and has made his personal story a big part of his appeal to voters. He lost his hard-fought battle to Denham, an almond farmer and Air Force veteran. Denham just completed his first term.

As expected, the race was close in a GOP-leaning area. Denham won 54 percent of the vote compared to Hernandez’s 46 percent. The campaign became heated and in some cases vicious thanks to nearly $12 million that have been infused into both campaigns from Super PACS.

Money was mainly used for vicious TV ads. California is as blue a state as can be, but both Republicans and Democrats viewed the 10th congressional district as a real battleground. The district, which is 40 percent Hispanic, is considered more politically balanced than ever after it was recently redrawn.

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