The race to replace Sam Fant as the Weston Ranch trustee on the Manteca Unified Board of Education is still too close to call.
After the San Joaquin Registrar of Voter’s office released updated election results on Wednesday, the race between Eric Duncan Sr., a Weston Ranch High School assistance football coach, and West Walker, a Tracy educator, is still separated by less than 100 votes with thousands of San Joaquin County absentee and provision ballots outstanding.
Currently Duncan has a 69 vote lead – 1,429 to 1,360 – over Walker according to the registrar’s updated election results. Third place candidate Alison Ordner is 350 votes behind Walker. The results will be finalized early next month when the California Secretary of State certifies the results.
There were more than 90,000 ballots still outstanding at the beginning of last week, and only about half of those were counted as of Wednesday’s update – leaving 45,000 still to be counted in San Joaquin County before the official vote can be certified. Registrar workers believe that that it could take up to early December until every last vote is formally counted.
In other school board races, incumbent Michael Seelye now has a 318 vote lead over challenger William Klump, and appointed board member Kathy Howe widened her margin over challenger Tony Berchtold by 2,246 votes. Howe is seeking the remaining two years on the term that was vacated by Ashley Drain when she resigned her position after charges of election and welfare fraud were filed against her by the San Joaquin District Attorney’s office for allegedly using an address where she did not reside to qualify for the ballot.
The other two seats that were available during this election cycle were already designated. Trustee Stephen Schluer, who was appointed to serve the remainder of the first half of Alexander Bronson’s term after he resigned following charges of election fraud, faced no opposition in his run for the unexpired term. Bob Wallace, who was backed by outgoing Manteca Unified board president Deborah Romero, earned a four year term when he ran unopposed for her old seat.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.