City Beat Blog

Wednesday, Nov 21 2012 05:27 PM

Ward 2 race still too close to call

By The Bakersfield Californian

Election day was two weeks ago, but the Ward 2 City Council race is still too close to call, according to the County Elections office and Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy.

The race pitted Bakersfield Planning Commissioner Elliott Kirschenmann against Terry Maxwell, who owns and runs T.L. Maxwell's restaurant with his wife, Paula.

"According to County Elections staff, the race for the Ward 2 seat is still too close to call," Tandy said in his weekly memo to city council members. "We will receive final notice next week when the remaining votes have been counted."

Sue Benham, a three-term councilwoman, decided to not run four a fourth term. Ward 2 represents a lot of downtown Bakersfield, including the neighborhoods north and south of 24th Street that would be affected by plans to widen that street. Maxwell has been a vocal opponent of that Thomas Roads Improvement Program project, while Kirschenmann has said his position on the Bakersfield Planning Commission stopped him from voicing his opinion on the project.

The last update from the county elections office, from Monday, showed Maxwell with 46 percent of the votes and Kirschenmann with 42 percent. Only 387 votes separated them. David Mensch, who teaches people with disabilities to use assistive technologies, got 11.2 percent.

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