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Council Field Holds Steady
By Jorge Casuso
November 4, 2020 -- The three front runners in the race for four City Council seats padded their leads Wednesday afternoon, as LA County voting officials released a batch of nearly 2,400 new votes.
Challenger Phil Brock now leads with 16,035 votes, expanding his early morning 42-vote advantage to 248 votes over Councilmember Gleam Davis, who had 15,787 votes as of 4:45 p.m.
Meanwhile challenger Christine Parra held on to her third-place showing with 15,029 votes, building slightly on her earlier 469-vote lead over fellow challenger Oscar de la Torre, who had 14,483.
Councilmembers Terry O'Day and Ted Winterer held on to their fifth and sixth-place slots with 14,251 and 13,901 votes respectively.
Councilmember Ana Jara was in seventh place with 13,116 votes, followed by challenger Mario Fonda-Bonardi with 10,483 votes.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 47,000 votes had been counted in the Council race for the four open 4-year seats and one uncontested 2-year seat, in which incumbent Kristin McCowan has received 27,559 votes, said City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren.
Of those votes, 2,393 were counted after the second tally was released at 2:07 a.m. Wednesday, Anderson-Warren said.
So far, 65 percent of the votes cast by Santa Monica's approximately 71,970 registered voters have been counted, according to the City Clerk. That compares with 75 percent in 2016 and 67 percent in 2018.
The LA County Registrar will send the City Clerk's office the list of remaining vote-by-mail provisionals Thursday, and a canvas is still set for Friday, Anderson-Warren said.
Mary Marlow, who heads the Santa Monica Transparency Project, said she doesn't expect a large increase in votes or any major changes in the rankings.
She noted that local council races are typically won with between 16,000 and 17,000 votes and that this year's record-breaking field of 21 candidate is diluting the vote.
"I think (the vote count) is a little low, but we've never had so many people running," Marlow said. "When you divide the (total) vote, it takes fewer votes to win."
The LA County Registrar is expected to update the results late Thursday afternoon.
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