By Miriam Raftery
November 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- More than a week after the election, several East County races remain too close to call, as counting of mail-in and provision ballots continues.
In the hotly contested Lemon Grove Mayoral race, Democrats George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez are battling it out at 43% and 42.25% respectively, separated by just 47 votes. In a distant third place is Republican Teresa Rosiak, who received less than 15% of the vote.
Lemon Grove’s Measure V to tax and regulate medical marijuana clinics is losing—but only by 60 votes currently, with less than 1% spread among less than 6,500 votes cast.
In the Alpine Union School Board race, two candidates have flip-flopped. While Joseph Perricone has a solid lead, Lou Russo has moved up into second place with 2,288 votes—surpassing Travis Lyon by just 24 votes. Lyon supports the district’s lawsuit against the Grossmont Union High School District over funds to build an Alpine High School, while Russo thinks that money would be better spent on classroom needs in existing schools.
In the Lakeside Union School District, Rhonda Taylor has won with over 31% of the vote, but candidates in the second seat, John Butz and Brian Stearns, are separated by just 50 votes, les than a ½ percent margin.
And out in the Borrego Springs School District, where there are three seats up for grabs, the vote spread is nearly even among four contenders. Steve Riehl has 515 votes, Virginia Johnson 512, Arie Korporaal 498 votes and Valeen Szabo 473 votes.
In the Wynola Water District, just two votes separate Michael Asmussen, currently in third place and Joann Bernard in second place, with two seats up for election. Timothy Taschler, in first place, is just 8 votes above Bernard.
So the next time you think that your vote doesn’t count, think again! President George W. Bush won election by only about 500 votes—and in local races, margins are often far slimmer. In fact, several East County races have been decided in recent years by a single vote!