Morro Bay council race still unclear but closer to runoff
June 6, 2014
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
The race for the final seat on the Morro Bay City Council remains the lone unclear result from Tuesday’s primary election, but an updated vote count shows that chances are growing that the race will head for a runoff.
In the primary election, candidates for the Morro Bay City Council must have their names appear on more than 50 percent of ballots in order to win a council seat outright. On Tuesday night, newcomer candidate Matt Makowetski clearly won a seat on the council, as his name appeared on more than 60 percent of ballots submitted.
But, the race for the second seat remained up in the air Tuesday night. Newcomer John Headding easily edged incumbent Nancy Johnson, but Headding’s tally hovered right around 50 percent. In the final election night tally, Headding’s name appeared on 49.86 percent of ballots.
Since then, San Luis Obispo County elections officials have counted the names on an additional 704 ballots submitted by Morro Bay voters. As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Headding’s tally is at 49.70 percent.
Elections officials have still yet to count 137 ballots from Morro Bay. In order to surpass 50 percent, Headding’s name must appear on 81, or 59 percent, of the remaining ballots.
Countywide, 8,208 ballots remain uncounted. Of those, 269 ballots are from undetermined locations, and some could have come from Morro Bay.
In addition to the Morro Bay council race, two other elections in the county failed to reach a conclusion Tuesday.
Incumbent Caren Ray and challenger Lynn Compton are in a runoff for the fourth district county supervisor seat. As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Compton has received 46.66 percent of the votes, and Ray has garnered 42.34 percent.
Compton’s tally increased slightly since Tuesday, while Ray’s decreased slightly.
A runoff will also occur in the county clerk-recorder’s race, which pits Tommy Gong against Amanda King. Gong now has received 45.75 percent of the vote, while King has tallied 43.49 percent.
Elections officials will resume counting ballots at 9:30 a.m. Friday. They are are expected to finalize results next week.
When the counting concludes, voter turnout for the primary is likely to surpass 40 percent in San Luis Obispo County.