Update: The Wednesday afternoon release of votes by the Registrar of Voters shows that Mayor Lisa Gillmor has increased her lead to 166 votes. She leads challenger Anthony Becker by just over a percentage point in the race for Santa Clara mayor. The results for the other races including Sunnyvale and Santa Clara Unified School District have not significantly changed.
The ballots are in and the first counts are tallied, but we’re still waiting for the final results. The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters released an updated tally just before 11 p.m. on 2022 Election Night (Nov. 8) and isn’t expected to issue another release until later this week.
The key race in Santa Clara, the race for mayor, still appears to be too close to call. Meanwhile, races for seats on the Santa Clara and Sunnyvale city councils, as well as the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) Board of Trustees, look to be all but decided.
Here’s what we know according to the 2022 Election Night unofficial tally.
Santa Clara Mayor’s Race
The big issue facing Santa Clara voters was who would lead the City of Santa Clara in the next four years. Both incumbent Mayor Lisa Gillmor and her challenger, Council Member Anthony Becker, have received criticism during what has been a particularly nasty campaign season.
The count on Tuesday night showed Gillmor leading slightly – 50.18% to Becker’s 49.82%. The difference between the two is just 53 votes.
The Registrar of Voters reports that 97.22% of the ballots within Santa Clara have been counted.
Santa Clara City Council Races
In District 2, incumbent Raj Chahal looks like he has won his re-election race against political newcomer Larry McColloch. Chahal received 61.19% of the votes in District 2 to McColloch’s 38.81%. The difference in votes sits at 570, with 87.5% of precincts reporting.
As for District 3, the unofficial result is Karen Hardy has won her re-election bid over challenger Christian Pellecchia. The Registrar of Voters reports 100% of the precincts reporting in District 3.
Hardy received 63.32% of the vote, while Pellecchia received 36.68%. The difference in this race was 632 votes.
2022 Election Night: Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Trustees
There were four seats up for re-election on Santa Clara Unified School District’s Board of Trustees. Board President Jodi Muirhead and incumbent Jim Canova ran unopposed and automatically received the re-appointment to the school board.
Though only 90% of the precincts have reported results, it is evident that incumbent Vickie Fairchild has won her race against Nestor Toribio. Fairchild received 73.98% of the vote, while Toribio received 26.02%. Fairchild will once again represent Trustee Area 3 on the school board.
Trustee Area 4 incumbent Andrew Ratermann appears to be on his way to defeating challenger Kimberley Williams. Ratermann has received 61.33% of the vote so far, while Williams has received 38.67%.
The Registrar of Voters reports just 58.33% of the precincts reporting in that race. The difference in votes sits at 520.
Sunnyvale City Council
In the City of Sunnyvale, there were three seats up for re-election. One of those seats – the District 1 seat – was filled in August by the Sunnyvale City Council. That’s because appointee Linda Sell ran unopposed. She will take office in January with the rest of the council members elected on Nov. 8.
In District 3, there were no incumbents in the race. With 100% of the precincts reporting, Justin Wang defeated Murali Srinivasan. Srinivasan received 48.19% of the vote to Wang’s 51.81%. The difference was 111 votes.
In District 5, Richard Mehlinger defeated Satyam Dave. Mehlinger received 70.68% of the vote. Dave received 29.32%. All the precincts in that race have reported.
Santa Clara Measures Pass on 2022 Election Night
Santa Clara voters were also asked to decide on two ballot measures. The races appear to be decided, though, like the mayor’s race, only 97.22% of the precincts have reported.
Measure G will amend the City Charter to allow for the transfer of 5% of funds from City utilities to the general fund. It is something the City has done since 1980, but the charter amendment would make the transfer official.
Measure G easily passed 82.91% percent to 17.09%.
Measure H is an update to the Santa Clara business license. It’s designed to increase the business license tax to a flat rate of $45 per employee per business with a cap of $350,000 and charge rental unit operators $15 per unit if they operate three or more rental units within the City.
Measure H passed 59.43% to 40.57%.
The new business license rules will go into effect on July 1, 2023. It is expected to bring an extra $5 million annually into the City’s general fund.
State Senate District 10
Two democrats, Aisha Wahab and Lily Mei, are vying to represent the newly created State Senate District 10 in Sacramento. District 10 spans Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.
Wahab is currently trailing Mei with 48.77% to 51.23%.
The Registrar of Voters has tallied 87.9% of the ballots in this race.
Mei currently leads by 1,369 votes.
State Assembly District 26
Meanwhile, Evan Low has easily won his race to represent District 26 (which includes Santa Clara and Sunnyvale) in the State Assembly. Low is an incumbent, though he represented another district in Sacramento prior to redistricting.
Even though only 91.78% of precincts have reported, Low is on his way to defeating challenger Tim Gorsulowsky. The current ballot count stands at 72.07% to 27.93%.
Santa Clara Sheriff’s Race
Santa Clara County voters look like they’re turning to someone outside of the Sheriff’s Office to take over. Outgoing Sheriff Laurie Smith was convicted of corruption earlier this month.
Kevin Jensen is a former member of the Sheriff’s Department who campaigned on a platform of fighting against the establishment. Robert “Bob” Jonsen is a former chief of police looking to reform the way the Sheriff’s Department operates.
Jensen is currently losing to Jonsen 48.52% to 51.48%. The difference in votes is 7,314 with 88.99% of the precincts reporting.
2022 Election Night Final Tallies
The Registrar of Voters is expected to issue another update on Wednesday, Nov. 9 before 5 p.m.
According to the California Secretary of State’s Office, the election results will be certified by Dec. 16, 2022.
Small correction to your update: Gillmor increased her lead to 166 votes not “by” 166 votes.
Does the County have an estimate on number of Santa Clara ballots left to count or countywide ones? The official count I think has been stuck at 51% since late last night and I do not think that changed with the evening update.
What also will be interesting to see is a final total to Forty Niner campaign spending and how much they spent per vote they got. And also Related and the SCPOA for Gillmor.
I think for Becker it so far is around $315 and for Chahal and Hardy it is around $650.
But a lot of the money they spent for Chahal and Hardy should probably be counted as spending on Becker since a lot of that was mainly negative attacks on Gillmor.
I’ll be posting an update tomorrow, but the long and short of it is that there are tens of thousands of potential ballots still outstanding in Santa Clara and it’s going to take a few weeks to process. They have until Dec. 8 to certify the election results and only once the election results are certified can someone ask for a recount. Given how close things are, it’s likely that no matter who wins, the loser will ask for a recount.
The latest update has been put up on the county website. 30,000 more ballots counted in the county. Where are you able to see the county’s estimate of the percentage of votes counted for the city of Santa Clara as opposed to the county overall?
Gillmor’s lead has gone up to 250 votes instead of 166. And her percentage lead is now 1.38% instead of 1.02%.
Will there be uncounted ballots for Santa Clara races for as long as there are uncounted ballots in the county? The county site estimates only 56% have been counted for the county.