With all but 381 provisional votes now counted in Tuolumne County, three local races remain close.
County Supervisor Liz Bass added cushion to her lead over Jim Hildreth for Board of Supervisors District 1. She was up by 28 votes Thursday after county election workers released updated numbers.
Sonora City Councilman Bill Canning also expanded his small lead over Councilman David Sheppard to 44 votes.
In both cases, the candidates are not yet conceding victory or defeat.
And in the case of Board of Supervisors District 5, a small handful of votes could still determine whether candidate Karl Rodefer will be declared victor or face a November runoff with candidate Domenic Torchia.
The elections office counted approximately 2,700 mail-in ballots on Thursday that had arrived too late on election day to be included in the preliminary results.
With the updated results in, Bass received 704 votes for 24.3 percent and Hildreth received 676 votes for 23.3 percent. Whoever finishes with the most will face Sherri Brennan — who received 1,065 votes for 36.7 percent — in November.
Hildreth stated in an e-mail that he will still “wait and see” the final count, though things are looking in Bass’ favor.
“I wish them both the best if the conclusion is in favor of the supervisor,” he said in his e-mail.
Bass said Thursday was a “roller-coaster day,” but she’s optimistic about the remaining ballots.
“I do feel that pulling away … it makes me feel good,” Bass said.
In the City Council race, the updated results show Canning with 441 votes (19.8 percent) and Sheppard with 397 (17.8 percent). Both are trying to retain their council seats by placing third. Newcomer Connie Williams and longtime Councilman Ron Stearn won two of three open council seats.
Sheppard declined to comment Thursday on the close race, and Canning said he’s still waiting for the final outcome.
“We’ll see,” he said. “I’d like to stay on because there’s a lot of positive things coming up.”
That wait could be a few more days, as Deborah Russell, the county clerk and auditor-controller, said on Wednesday that it could take as much as a week to tally all the provisional ballots. Those ballots take a little more time to count because of the verification process.
Karl Rodefer is still only a few votes back from avoiding a runoff. The latest results show him with 1,446 votes, about 49.9 percent of the total entered for District 5 supervisor.
If he ends with more than 50 percent of the total vote, he will win the seat outright. If he does not, he will face Torchia in November. Torchia received 623 votes, or 21 percent.