With the number of uncounted ballots dwindling, some Long Beach races remain incredibly close with what could be a final vote tally from Los Angeles County expected Friday.
Incumbent Councilmember Mary Zendejas continues to lead her closest challenger, Mariela Salgado (29%) but her margin above the 50% threshold that she would need to maintain to avoid a runoff election in November continues to get smaller.
Zendejas is about 14 votes over the 50% mark with tens of thousands of ballots still to process. In its last update Friday, the county said it had 74,000 ballots still to count and Tuesday’s update included 43,533, according to a Tweet from the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder Clerk’s Office.
The mayoral race remained roughly the same, with Councilmember Rex Richardson still holding a seven-percentage-point lead over Councilmember Suzie Price, the same margin he had in Friday’s update.
Because Richardson (44%) and Price (37%) are both unlikely to hit the 50% mark, the race is likely headed to a Nov. 8 runoff.
Another City Council race that has yet to be decided is the 9th District in North Long Beach. Joni Ricks-Oddie, who has led since election night, has continued to trend toward 50% and is currently about 29 votes away from that mark. Ricks-Oddie would replace Richardson, who represented the 9th District since 2014.
The 3rd and 5th District races are likely headed to November. The Tuesday update showed Megan Kerr (48%) leading Ian Patton (31%) in the newly formed 5th District, with Kerr losing some ground percentage-wise since the last update, but still holding a roughly 2,500-vote lead over Patton.
The 3rd District, which had the most candidates of any council race, is almost certainly going to November, but the race for second place will determine who will campaign against Kristina Duggan, a former Price field deputy, who leads the field with 22% of the vote.
Kailee Caruso, who jumped into second place after Friday’s update, remains ahead of Nima Novin who had been in second since election night. Caruso’s lead over Novin is 84 votes.
Long Beach’s municipal code requires a recount when the difference between two candidates is less than one-half of 1% and the total amount of votes separating the two is 50 or less, according to the city clerk’s website. The city would have to pay for an automatic recount under the municipal code whereas other recounts would have to be paid by the person requesting it.
The next update is scheduled for June 24. The county had anticipated certifying election results by July 6 but said Tuesday that certification is expected July 1.