Election night cliffhanger: Blakeslee is close
June 22, 2010
Republican Sam Blakeslee came oh-so-close Tuesday night to clinching the state Senate race outright, but he fell short by only a handful of votes, leading observers to wonder whether there are uncounted absentee ballots remaining that might yet allow him to claim victory.
With the initial votes in from all five counties, Blakeslee has 64,676 votes (49.71 percent), after carrying San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Clara Counties. Democrat John Laird finished second with 53,639 votes (41.23 percent), after carrying Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.
Independent Jim Fitzgerald finished third with 7,936 votes (6.10 percent) and Libertarian Mark Hinkle was far behind with 3,848 votes (2.96 percent).
Blakeslee needs 50 percent, plus one vote, to avoid a runoff election in August against Laird. Currently, his fate lies in the hands of any absentee ballots. If all the votes have been counted, then Blakeslee and Laird face off again on August 17.
CalCoastNews will post more election coverage as events unfold.