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Cliffhanger: Cantu still in lead by 116 votes
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Ben Cantu is still leading Steve DeBrum in the race for mayor after the latest update of the effort to verify and count a massive backlog of mail-in ballots.

Cantu’s lead dropped slightly by 9 votes to 6,870 to 6,754 on Monday after an additional 617 mail-in ballots from Manteca were counted. After the previous update when 129 Manteca ballots were counted, Cantu had increased his 126 vote margin over DeBrum after the last count after the polls closed by 1 vote.

Manteca had 39,149 registered voters going into the election. There have been 13,031 ballots counted so far in Manteca. Keep in mind that all registered voters do not cast ballots in elections

The expectation there could still be in excess of 5,000 votes from Manteca yet to count if the remaining ballots are proportional to population as to where they are cast, not only have the two mayoral candidates said it is too close to declare a winner but the two top vote getters so far in the four-man race for two council seats are taking the same stance. 

If you were making an estimate on potential turnout of between 40 and 50 percent turnout in Manteca there would be between 1,529 and 5,444 ballots from Manteca that remain to be counted.

David Breitenbucher is still in first with a 246 vote lead over Mike Morowit who is ahead of Jose Nuno by 330 votes. Chris Silva is 1,334 votes behind Silva.

Depending upon how many Manteca votes are counted this week, Manteca may not know who the next mayor will be until Thanksgiving week.

The next official semifinal update to the election returns is expected to post today at 5 p.m. After that the other tentative posting times are Friday,  Nov. 16, at 5 p.m., then 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