By KAREN VELIE
There are still no clear winners for contested seats on the Atascadero, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo city councils. With large disparities in candidate choices separating early and late voters, at least one election night underdog is likely to win their race.
In an eight-person race for two seats on the SLO City Council, incumbent Andy Pease appears to have won reelection with 24.17%.
On election night, former councilwoman Jan Marx came in second, leading her opponent Abrianna Torres by 1,215 votes, or 20.54% to 16.81%.
While Marx led in early mail in ballots, Torres led among poll voters.
Following Friday’s count of additional ballots, Torres is gaining ground with only 823 votes separating the two candidates. Marx currently has 19.85% to Torres’ 17.64%, according to unofficial election results.
There are currently 4,982 SLO ballots left to count. If the remaining late mail in ballots run statistically with poll voters, Torres will surpass Marx by more than 400 votes, and win the mayor’s race.
The closest call on election night was Atascadero where five candidates battled over two spots. Atascadero Councilman Charles Bourbeau has likely won reelection with 28.01% of the vote.
Candidates Mark Dariz and Tori Keen are battling for the second seat. On election night, Dariz led Keen 24.52% to to 24.29%, with just 40 votes separating the two candidates.
In this case, Dariz led in both the early mail in ballots and poll voters. Dariz has remained in second place, while increasing his lead to 308 votes. There are currently 4,175 uncounted Atascadero ballots.
In Pismo Beach, five candidates campaigned for two seats on the council. With 35.09%, it appears newcomer Scott Newton is guaranteed a seat on the council.
Two incumbents, Marcia Guthrie and Erik Howell, are battling for the second council seat. On election night, Guthrie recived 24.53% to Howell’s 22.76% of the vote.
Following Friday’s count of additional ballots, percentages changed slightly, with Guthrie leading Howell 24.35% to 22.69%, with 127 votes separating the two candidates.
There are currently 1,085 Pismo Beach ballots left to count. The race between the two incumbents remains too close to call.