The Manteca City Council election is turning into one for the record books.
It may be a week or so before the race for the second council seat can be called with any certainty.
That’s because there are still roughly 60,000 absentee and provisional ballots to be counted in San Joaquin County.
As of last Friday, incumbent Debby Moorhead held a 160 vote lead over challenger Jeff Zellner.
Moorhead has 7,494 votes so far and Zellner has 7,334. Gary Singh secured the initial seat with 9.317 votes.
Zellner is 2,304 votes ahead of the next candidate, Ben Cantu.
Keep in mind the long count is the direct result of making it more convenient in California to vote absentee. The ballots cast in that manner must all be verified. That involves matching signatures and addresses, a fairly time consuming endeavor.
There is also no way of knowing how many of those ballots left to be counted where cast by City of Manteca voters. The next count update is expected later this week.
Supervisor or State
Outgoing Manteca City Council member Vince Hernandez’ 14-year run will come to a close on Dec. 6 when the oath of office is given to the final two top vote getters.
Hernandez opted not to seek another term.
The educator said he is keeping the door open to a possible run for the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors seat representing Tracy, Mountain House, and Manteca south of Yosemite Avenue or the California State Senate seat in four years.
Supervisor Bob Elliott and State Senator Cathleen Galgiani are both termed out in 2020.
Hernandez noted he plans to retire from his education career in four to six years.
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