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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Laura Concedes to Das as New Count Shows His Lead Grows

Laura Capps conceded the First District supervisor race late Monday, after county election officials reported that Das Williams nearly doubled his small Election Day lead with the counting of more than 8,000 additional ballots.

"After the most recent update from the county, it is clear that First District voters have re-elected Das Williams as their Supervisor," Capps said in a statement. "I called to congratulate him and his team on their win."

Laura's concession came about an hour after Registrar of Voters Joe Holland released new numbers which show:

Das Williams 12,634 (52.26 percent)

Laura Capps 11,235 (46.48 percent)

Write-ins 304 ( 1.26 percent)

Holland told Newsmakers that there are approximately 20,000 ballots left to process countywide, but said it was unclear how many of these came from First District voters.

“There are roughly 10,000 Vote-by-Mail ballots and 10,000 provisional ballots still outstanding,” Holland said, adding that clerks in the registrar office have to sort them all to determine how many are in each district.

The new numbers meant that Capps’s already narrow chance of ousting incumbent Supervisor Williams by reversing the Election Day result had only grown more daunting.

Even if roughly one-fifth of the 20,000 outstanding ballots – 4,000 -- come from the First District, she would have needed to win more than two-thirds of the ballots; and that assumes that all of the provisional ballots would be determined to be valid, which is unlikely.

"I am very proud of our campaign and found so much meaning in the honest conversations I had with so many people on the issues they care about -- government accountability, housing, poverty and climate. I hope those issues - and their strong desire to reduce the role of special interests in our local government - will remain part of our civic conversation, Capps said in her statement.

"I first decided to run for supervisor because I am dedicated to making life better for all children and families in our county, and that remains as true today as it ever has been.  When we do right by our children, we do right by everyone," she added. "I am extending a heartfelt thank you to every single person -- and all the kids! -- who came with us on this journey.  We stood up for what we know to be true and I couldn't be more inspired and grateful."

In his statement, Williams said he is "grateful and humbled by the trust that voters have placed in me by voting to re-elect me to continue serving the First District" and "inspired by the amazing work of the volunteers and staff that spoke to over 16,000 voters during the campaign.

"I want folks who voted for my opponent to know that I will work hard to represent all the people of SB County, and that I welcome all ideas and feedback to become a better public servant and to more effectively find solutions to the challenges our community faces," he added.

Joe gains on Bernie. Other election update data on Monday showed that:

  • In the 3rd District, Supervisor Joan Hartmann has slightly increased – from 52.26 to 52.97 percent – the margin she held over three rivals in Election Day results, making it a near-certainty she will not face a run-off.

  • In the Central Coast’s 37th Assembly District, newly counted votes have not changed the result, with Charles Cole, the only Republican in the seven-way race, and Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett, a Democrat, claiming the two top spots for the November run-off and SB Mayor Cathy Murillo in third place.

  • In SB county presidential balloting, Joe Biden has slashed the 12-point lead that Bernie Sanders held over him on Election Day to under 8 points: in the county, Sanders now holds a 34.30 to 26,32 advantage over Biden, mirroring the ground the former Vice President has gained in statewide running totals, in which the Vermont Senator now leads 33.9 to 26.8 percent.

In other news... Earlier in the day Capps campaign attorney Andrew Werbrock, of the prominent Bay Area election law firm Olson, Remcho, sent a letter to Holland requesting information about voters who may have been mailed absentee ballots even though they preferred to continue to vote at a precinct place on Election Day.

According to the letter, at least four voters told the campaign that when they showed up to vote, they were only allowed to cast a provisional ballot because records showed they had requested and received a mail ballot.

“The (Capps) committee is concerned that, if it is already aware of four separate incidents like this, this may have been a more widespread issue in the March 3 primary, leading to voter confusion,” the letter said.

“Moreover, while the committee understands that these provisional ballots will be counted so long as the voter did not cast his or her vote-by-mail ballot, the committee is concerned that, instead of taking the time to vote provisionally, some voters, whether out of confusion or a lack of time, may have chosen not to vote at all.”

At post time, Holland had not replied to the letter.


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