Sanchez Gains a Few Votes in Updated Count, Not Enough to Edge Out Barrera; Greenfield Mayor Still in Limbo
June 18, 2012
Though the most recent vote count showed Greenfield Mayor John Huerta hanging onto his seat by a thread, he's not resting easy until the County Elections Department certifies this too-close-to-call recall election.
The most recent vote count, completed Friday, showed Huerta escaping a recall by just 59 votes. Registrar of Voters Linda Tulett will direct an audit—by hand—of the 1,500 ballots cast.
“The smaller the community and the lower the turnout, the closer the results are," Tulett says. "That’s just statistics.” She's disappointed by the low, about 30 percent, turnout in Greenfield and countywide. "All year, people are complaining and they're out there protesting. Then all of a sudden, on election day, where are they?"
Former mayor Leonard Dart is poised to take Huerta's seat should he be recalled, and Dart's holding out hope that a manual audit will propel him to the lead. He's suspicious of unions, particularly United Farm Workers, that backed Huerta and helped him campaign door-to-door.
"Those are just political attacks," Huerta responds. "Mr. Dart doesn’t know anything about the UFW."
In other close races, erstwhile District 1 County Supervisor candidate Sergio Sanchez was lagging behind second-place finisher Tony Barrera by a smaller gap—96 votes—as of Friday, but in a district where only 5,000 voters turned out to cast ballots, that's a fairly significant 1.5-percent margin.
The top two vote-getters face off in a November runoff. Incumbent Fernando Armenta leads that race with 45 percent of the vote, about 250 votes short of a landslide victory it would take to avoid a runoff.
Meanwhile in District 5, Marc Del Piero held just a five-vote lead over County Supervisor Dave Potter who's gunning for a fifth term. The two will go head-to-head in November. Pacific Grove Mayor Carmelita Garcia earned just 15 percent of the vote in that race and is now endorsing Del Piero.
Certified election results are due by July 3.