It could take days – or longer – before the three Lathrop City Council candidates separated by less than two-dozen votes know for sure whether they’ve earned one of the two available seats.
The unofficial final results of Tuesday’s election, which were posted by the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters just before midnight, haven’t been updated beyond that.
Possible provisional ballots and late absentee ballots could have an impact on the outcome of the race as only nine votes separate the current second-place vote getter Connie Lum-Perez and third-place incumbent Omar Ornelas.
Paul Akinjo, who leads the field, is only 12 votes ahead of Lum-Perez.
If the results hold then Akinjo, who finished third in 2012 but was appointed to fill the remainder of Sonny Dhaliwal’s council term because he was the next leading vote-getter, would be elected to the Lathrop City Council for the first time. If Ornelas is somehow able to overtake Lum-Perez he would also carry the same honor – he was appointed in 2010 after current Fire Chief Gene Neely announced he wouldn’t be accepting the seat even if he were elected. He was named to Lathrop’s top fire department spot just before making the announcement but still led all other candidates in votes that year.
Low voter turnout – typical of a midterm election – made the votes that did come in that much more important. The remainder of the votes were evenly distributed among the other candidates that were running – an average of 10 percent being pulled by Debbie Rock, Christopher Mateo and Brent Maynor. Frank Cavaco finished with just under seven percent of the total vote.