Three Long Beach City Council seats were decided Tuesday night, but the fourth and final seat in East Long Beach’s 4th District looks like it will be headed to a runoff.

Current 4th District Councilmember Daryl Supernaw was leading with 49.6% of the vote after the first tallies Tuesday night. Challengers Gerrie Schipske and Herlinda Chico were locked in a close race for second place with only 60 votes dividing them as of 6 a.m. Wednesday (See up-to-the-minute totals here.)

The top two vote-getters will move onto the November runoff unless Supernaw eclipses 50% support.

Who’s running. What’s at stake.

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Incumbent Councilmembers Cindy Allen and Suely Saro appear to have won reelection in their respective districts, with Allen garnering 54% of the vote and Saro having 75% in early returns released by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder Clerk.

The final City Council race is in North Long Beach’s 8th District, where candidates Tunua Thrash-Ntuk and Sharifa Batts are looking to replace termed-out Councilmember Al Austin. Thrash-Ntuk held about 54% of the vote through the first returns released by the county. Batts was trailing by a total of 191 votes as of 6 a.m. Wednesday, with more votes expected to be counted in the coming days.

Mayor Rex Richardson, right, applauds Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, who was leading in early returns for the 8th City Council District. Photo by Jackie Rae.

Two Long Beach Unified school board races were also decided Tuesday. Incumbent Board Member Doug Otto ran unopposed and incumbent Erik Miller held nearly 73% percent of the vote, a wide lead over challenger Jerlene Tatum.

It’s unclear when county election officials will be done tabulating votes, but state law requires the vote to be certified within 30 days. Low voter turnout could allow that to happen faster than in past years, as voting participation has sagged heading into the March 5 primary without the draw of a competitive presidential contest for either the Democrats or Republicans.

Both Long Beach and Los Angeles County had just 10% of ballots returned headed into Election Day according to data from PDI, a consulting firm that tracks voting data.

Since a state law forced Long Beach and other cities to align their elections with the state to increase voter participation, Long Beach hasn’t seen a primary turnout below 29.3%. The last year Long Beach held its own elections (2018) the primary turnout was 15.8%.

If the early results hold, the majority of the council that has allied itself with Mayor Rex Richardson appears to be safe. The addition of Thrash-Ntuk, who helped run Richardson’s transition into office, could add another ally for Richardson heading into critical years when the city is facing tough decisions over budget deficits and the city’s waning oil revenues.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.