Local Politics

Tuesday, Nov 27 2012 03:56 PM

Election notebook: Latest update doesn't change leaders in races

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The Kern County Elections Division posted updated vote counts Monday from the Nov. 6 election, though the results don't appear to change who is leading in races in Kern County and Bakersfield.

Bakersfield Planning Commissioner Elliott Kirschenmann was still lagging behind local restaurant owner Terry Maxwell in the Ward 2 Bakersfield City Council race, with 41.8 percent of the vote compared to Maxwell's 46 percent. Just 424 votes separated the two, a smidgen of a change from the 387-vote difference between the two men according to counts on Nov. 19, the previous update.

Bakersfield city administrators have taken a cautious tack. City Manager Alan Tandy said last week that the race is still too close to call, and city council members have made no mention, at least publically, of who the next Ward 2 council member will be.

Efforts to reach Kirschenmann Tuesday weren't successful.

Councilwoman Sue Benham has represented Ward 2 since 2000 but decided not to run for a fourth term.

The third candidate in the race, David Mensch, had 11.4 percent of the vote, according to Monday's update.

The latest results in other races included:

* 23rd Congressional District seat: 75.1 percent for Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, 24.9 percent for no-party affiliation Terry Phillips

* 32nd state Assembly seat: 61.3 percent for Democrat Rudy Salas, 38.7 percent for Republican Pedro Rios

* 1st District Kern County Supervisor: 58.9 percent for Mick Gleason, 40.7 percent for Roy Ashburn

Kern County Elections Chief Karen Rhea said there are about 3,000 provisional ballots left to process, but not all of them may count. Voters cast provisional ballots when there's a question of their eligibility to vote. All mail-in ballots have been counted, she said. Elections workers plan to finish processing all the ballots by Friday, Rhea said.

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