With an updated semi-official report on election numbers calculated Friday morning, candidates in most races for local office have called the election.
While it’s still too close to call in the Fourth Supervisorial District, the updated numbers have reinforced leads held by the frontrunners in the races for various school districts, the City Council and Fifth supervisorial district.
As reported Thursday, David Stottlemyre, Pat Gardner and Laura Smith won election to the City Council over Keith Glidewell and Susan Cullen.
It is also safe to say that Matt Kingsley is the new Fifth District Inyo County Supervisor with 651 votes to opponent Jim Gentry’s 518.
Inyo County Clerk-Recorder Kammi Foote said it is unclear how many provisional ballots remain in the Fifth District, but with more than 130 votes separating the candidates, and at most 160 provisional ballots outstanding, it is unlikely the results will change when the provisionals are counted.
According to Foote, there are still approximately 200 provisional ballots to be counted. Some of those may not be counted towards Inyo County’s totals, as they may have come from out-of-the-area voters, or unregistered citizens.
In the Fourth District, challenger Mark Tillemans leads by 12 votes. Foote said there are still about 40 provisional ballots that remain to be counted in the Fourth District.
Incumbent Supervisor Marty Fortney said he is patiently awaiting the final, certified election results, which Foote said will be released Tuesday, at the latest.
“This is just one of those things when patience is a virtue,” Fortney said, adding that he will not be calling the race until all votes are tabulated. “We’ll just have to wait and see, I’m not going to call it quits.”
Tillemans did not return phone calls seeking comment Friday.
In response to voters’ calls and questions to her office, Foote released a statement regarding state and county policy on voter-requested recounts.
“Inyo County conducts every election as if it will be recounted,” Foote said. “A recount is conducted by the elections official for the purpose of verifying the number of votes for any office or measure in an election.”
A recount means that elections officials manually tally each ballot that was submitted for the race in question.
Recounts may be requested by any registered voter within five calendar days of the official election certification and all recount requests must be made in writing.
If a voter requests a re-count, and the numbers do not change, the individual who requested the recount will be required to cover costs incurred by the recount.
For a full list of guidelines concerning recounts, visit www.inyocounty.us/Recorder/ElectionResults .
The other local races are shaping up to be more cut-and-dried.
In the Fifth District, the candidates have called the race, naming Kingsley supervisor-elect.
“I’m feeling good,” Kingsley said. “I’m sort of trying to switch from trying to get the job to figuring out how to do the job.”
Kingsley said he is planning to prepare for his position on the board by continuing to attend Board of Supervisors meetings, meeting with county department heads, attending training meetings in December and by developing a working relationship with current board members.
“I hope that I can represent the people of the Fifth District in a good way,” Kingsley said. “I’d like to thank everybody who supported me.”
Gentry did not respond to requests seeking comments as of press time Friday.
The final results in the race for City Council, incumbents Stottlemyre and Smith and challenger Gardner beat out two-term incumbent Cullen and newcomer Glidewell for the three available seats on the Bishop City Council.
Current Mayor Stottlemyre said the election numbers are what he expected.
“I think we’re going to have a very good council. We had a good council before, but I think the new council will be equally as good,” he said.
Looking ahead, Stottlemyre said the City Council will have to “move forward the best we can with the resources we have. My goals sound pretty basic, we have budget concerns, we have to continue to provide what I call our premium services. Moving forward with less is going to be a challenge.”
Gardner, who will take the dais for the first time when she is sworn in on Dec. 10, said she was pleased with the election process, the clean, friendly race and, of course, the support she received from voters.
“I’m looking forward to beginning work,” Gardner said. “I think the city, county, state and feds all have money issues. I look forward to being a good caretaker of the city’s finances and not spending money we don’t have.”
Gardner also said she is looking forward to working with the city’s volunteers and would like to thank her supporters for voting for her.
Laura Smith, who will be starting her second term on the City Council in December, said she is feeling great about the election results.
Looking ahead, Smith said she hopes to strengthen the working relationship between the city and the Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s going to be exciting when Cottonwood Plaza opens, and the new building at the fairgrounds gives us some new opportunities,” she said. “I’m looking forward to all the enthusiasm from (Gardner). She has the time, energy and enthusiasm.”
“I am really grateful that I get to serve for the next four years, and what a great team we have,” she said, referring to the new council that includes Gardner. “I appreciate all the people that believe in what I’ve done so far.”
Cullen, who already has two terms on the City Council under her belt, said she is grateful for the time she had on the council and is planning to continue her volunteer work at Laws Railroad Museum and with the Inyo-Mono Association for the Handicapped.
“I would like to thank everyone who voted for me,” Cullen said, adding that she hopes to get more involved with local volunteer efforts when her term ends.
Glidewell said he would like to congratulate all of the winning candidates and thank those in the community who voted for him.
“I very much enjoyed meeting my community during the door to door work of the campaign and will be visiting you all again to chat in the not too distant future,” he said. “I will definitely be running again, as I do believe that it is important for younger generations to participate in government and that those in city administrative positions have the opportunity to pass on their extensive knowledge and experience to age groups that will be around for awhile.”