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KPBS Midday Edition

Some Statewide And San Diego County Races Still Too Close To Call

Voters turn in ballots at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters in Kearny Mesa, Nov. 5, 2018.
Matt Hoffman/KPBS
Voters turn in ballots at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters in Kearny Mesa, Nov. 5, 2018.

The national focus is on votes still being counted in Georgia and Florida, but there are still thousands of votes left to be counted across California and even in San Diego County.

For most races, the remaining ballots won’t make a difference, however, there are several races, primarily in the North County that are still undecided.

The most high profile and surprising is the race for mayor in Escondido where incumbent Mayor Sam Abed is now trailing his challenger Paul McNamara by 237 votes as of Wednesday night's update.

KPBS reporter Alison St John joins Midday Edition Thursday to talk about the close local races, CalMatters senior editor Dan Morain has details on the close statewide races.

Some Statewide And San Diego County Races Still Too Close To Call
Some Statewide And San Diego County Races Still Too Close To Call GUEST: Alison St John, North County reporter, KPBS Dan Morain, senior editor, CalMatters

This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. The national focus is on votes still being counted in Georgia and Florida but there are still thousands of votes left to be counted across California and even in San Diego County. For most races that won't make a difference. However there are several races primarily in the North County that are still undecided. The most high profile and surprising is the race for mayor in Escondido. Joining me is KPBS North County reporter Alison St. John. Allison welcome. Glad to be here Maureen. As the vote count stands now Sam Abed is not winning his bid for re-election as mayor in Escondido. What happened. Well I think this is quite a stunner. Most people did not see this coming. He's had two terms as mayor. He was challenged by Olga Diaz but he won that one handily and now another Democrat came forward to challenge him. Paul McNamara who is a former Marine and is a Democrat and who has been accusing really the mayor of creating a certain amount of community discord so maritima bed has taken a great deal of credit for economic development and development of new housing new businesses. And I think he was pretty confident he would win a third term. But he did it on election night as the recount continues. Gradually he's lost that lead and now he's 200 votes behind and how many votes are left to be counted. Well it's 250000. You know county wide we don't know exactly how many of them are Escondido but I have to say that the trend since the election in the recount has been steadily eroding Sam Abed it has not vacillated and has been steadily eroding Sam Abed's lead and giving Paul McNamara more and more votes. If Abed's challenger McNamara were to win. How would that change the political makeup of the Escondido City Council. Pretty dramatically because if you combine a wind by Paul McNamara with the fact that in one of the districts Latino Consuelo Martinez has very easily defeated the incumbent Ed Gallo. That would put the whole majority on the city council it would swing it from being much more conservative to a good deal more progressive. We have already as who's an incumbent who was a lone voice on the council until now and said she might step down because she felt she was in such a minority she would now be joined by Consuelo Martinez who is a Latina and therefore this redistricting. We've been hearing about is actually beginning to work. You know when you get more minorities into the city council and then if Paul McNamara wins that gives them three votes. So moving on to another north county city there are two races four seats on the Carlsbad City Council that are still pretty close. Can you tell us about those races. Yes that's District 1 and 3. Again it's the first time they've had redistricting perhaps. What's interesting is that all four candidates who are in a close race now for those two seats are women. And up until now there's only been one woman on Carlsbad City Council. So we have Barbara Hamilton against Tracy Carmichael. There are only about 50 votes apart. You know 2000 3000 votes on each side. But there are about 50 votes apart. And then I'm District 3 Pria Patel and Corinne Brewster are again just a matter of little over 100 votes apart. Out of 10000. So that could go either way. And the thing about that is that there has been a great deal of stability on Carlsbad City Council for years. The mayor did hang on to his seat. MATT HALL He's a two term mayor a little bit like Sam Abed in Escondido. But in this case he's kept his seat easily and on the Oceanside council there's still one race that's pretty close. Yes there is Chuck Clowery and estrus Sanchez. Again this is where redistricting or rather you know district elections has pitted two incumbents against each other. They both live in the first district. Esther Sanchez appears to be leading by about 80 votes over Chuck Lowry. It could change but ever since the election it seems like Astras lead has been increasing. So that is a race that a lot of Oceanside people are watching closely because there are some differences in their approach to government. Well thank you Alison. Thank you for that update. My pleasure Maureen. Joining me now is Dan Morain. He's senior editor with Coull matters to talk about the statewide races that are still undecided. Dan welcome to the program. Good to be here. What is it now. Two congressional races remain too close to call in California I'd say the Cisneros Cam race in Orange County that T.J. Cox versus Haliday race in the Central Valley. You know perhaps Caity corridor versus maybe Walters also in Orange County but it looks like Porter's pretty much won that one. So that was the but that hasn't been called yet has it. The Associated Press has not called it that's correct. What races have been recently called the race in the San Joaquin Valley between Jeff and Josh harder Jeff Denham had won in 2010 the Republican way back in 2010 and now he's lost the Democratic wave of 2018 to you know 32 year old guy who's never run for office before Grupp Interlok but went away to Stanford and Harvard came back to run like a lot of these Democratic candidates this round. OK so we're still watching a couple of congressional races at least has the state school superintendent race been called it hasn't. But you know Tony Thurman is he is building an ever larger lead. So well I'd be surprised. I don't know how you would if your Marshal talked he ran a very good racist. Tony Thurman I just don't know how how Tuck overcomes the deficit. Perhaps he can have both Thurmond and Tucker are very thoughtful guys. I think there either would would make for a fine Superintendent of Public Instruction. The difference though has been that Tony Thurmond really has been the candidate of the California Teachers Association and other public school unions. Whereas Marshall Tuck who is a Democrat and a pretty liberal guy is more is the choice of supporters of charter public schools. And so it's this divide between the teachers union and supporters of charter schools. Charter schools aren't necessarily unionized. And so that that's really been the fight. This is a 50 million dollar rate. You know the both sides really care a whole lot about who wants what any other notable races undecided that are sort of on your campus there you're really waiting to find out what happens. Well I think the insurance commissioner races over I think Ricardo Lara has won who's the Democrat against the no party preference candidate Steve Poizner. You know what's really interesting from a just a purely Californian standpoint is the breadth of the rumbly wins and state Senate wins the state Senate will have 28 Democrats which is extraordinary. So so there's a two thirds majority in the Senate and the assembly right now as we speak has 56 Democrats out of 80 seats they could get up to 60 by the time all the vote counting is done which is unprecedented. And more than a week later the election goes on. I've been speaking with Dan Morain senior editor with Coull matters. And Dan thank you. Thank you.