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Cantu, Breitenbucher, Morowit widen leads for mayor, council seats
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The three leaders in the vote counting for Manteca’s mayor as well as two city council seats padded their leads in the latest ballot count released Wednesday.

Manteca mayor hopeful Ben Cantu added 32 votes to his Tuesday totals to expand his lead over incumbent Steve DeBrum by 459 votes. Cantu now has 51.24 percent of the vote (9,492) compared to 48.76 percent for DeBrum (9,033).

David Breitenbucher further secured his top vote getter position by adding 29 votes to take a 376 vote lead over incumbent Mike Morowit. Meanwhile Morowit expanded his lead by a vote. He now is leading Jose Nuno by 139 votes.

Chris Silva trails Nuno by 1,493 votes. The top two vote getters will be elected to the council.

Cantu on Wednesday said “our lead is becoming more comfortable” and that “the trend is encouraging” but made it clear with outstanding votes that the winner won’t be decided until the voting results are certified.

Wednesday’s updated involved 917 ballots cast in Manteca. That brings the total counted so far from Manteca to 18,525. Manteca had 39,149 registered voters going into the election.

If Manteca’s actual voter turnout reflected other areas in the county and Stanislaus County that was part of the hotly contested 10th District Congressional race and was between 50 and 60 percentage, that means between 19,570 and 23,484 votes were cast in Manteca.

The next official semifinal update to the election returns is expected to post to Friday, Nov. 16, at 5 p.m. The elections department could, however, post numbers sooner. The next scheduled times for posting updated counts are Monday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m., and Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. The registrar has posted a goal to have all vote-by-mail ballots counted by Monday Nov. 26 and most provisional ballots counted by Wednesday, Nov. 28 – posting the results of each at 5 p.m. on those respective days.  

The San Joaquin County Elections Department is struggling with a massive surge of mail-in votes as well as those dropped off at polling places on Election Day leaving 92,700 votes left to count after the in-person Election Day counting and those mail-in ballots received early enough to verify signatures so they could be counted after the polls closed.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email