IMPERIAL COUNTY — Imperial Irrigation District Division 2 incumbent Director Bruce Kuhn was in trouble in his bid for a fifth term, according to a March 17 update from the county Election Department on the vote count from the March 3 election.
Though he initially led challenger Ryan Childers by 49 votes on March 4, the day after voting concluded, Kuhn slipped to third in the latest tally. Childers had 1,278 votes to Kuhn’s 1,262.
With none of the four office hopefuls exceeding 50 percent, the top two are headed for a Nov. 3 runoff.
Political newcomer John Brooks Hamby was safely in as the top vote-getter in the race with 1,985 votes.
There were just 1,600 ballots left to be verified and counted as of March 17, Elections officials reported. That was down from more than 8,000 immediately after the election. The late count involves mail-in and provisional ballots, the latter being those that require some measure of verification.
Childers could not immediately be reached for comment March 18. But Kuhn said all along the race was “too early to call.”
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” Kuhn said. “Whatever it turns out to be, will be what it is.”
Kuhn said he has no intention of asking for a recount.
IID Division 2 was the only race to have changed leaders since the initial final unofficial vote count from March 3.
Registrar of Voters Debbie Porter said of the 1,600 ballots left to be counted as of March 18 most were provisional ballots, which the department began processing over the weekend of March 14. A comparatively small number of mail-in ballots are still being processed, she said.
Elections has until April 3 to certify the election.
In the IID Division 4 race incumbent Erik Ortega had 1,803 votes and Javier Gonzalez remained in second 1,111 votes. The pair was also headed for a November runoff.
Likewise, little had changed in the election for the District 2 seat on the count Board of Supervisors, where incumbent Luis Plancarte won outright in the two-person contest.
Plancarte had 2,784 votes, while challenger Claudia Camarena had 2,205 votes as of March 17. The elections department will continue to update the count about 5 p.m. daily on its website, https://www.co.imperial.ca.us/regvoters/ .
This story is featured in the Mar 19, 2020 e-Edition.