Former five-term Calaveras County supervisor Merita Callaway has won her District 3 seat back from incumbent Mike Oliveira, 1,990 votes to 1,523, according to unofficial results.
“I’m feeling good, I’m excited, I’m looking forward to it,” Callaway said Wednesday. “I’ve already had phone calls from future constituents giving me work to do.”
According to unofficial results, Callaway won District 3 by a margin of 467 votes, and she received 56.37 percent of the 3,530 votes counted in the district.
Oliveira, who won a close race to defeat Callaway four years ago, said Wednesday he is not ready to concede.
“At this point I’m still waiting for the official results to come from the registrar,” Oliveira said. “The last election cycle we didn’t determine that until a couple of days after election day, and that one came down to about 60 votes.”
So far Tuesday’s results are based on six of six precincts in District 3 reported and counted. Countywide the results are based on 29 of 29 precincts reporting, but there are still about 4,000 vote-by-mail ballots, provisional and same-day conditional ballots yet to be counted, the county registrar of voters said Wednesday. County elections staff are also still accepting vote-by-mail ballots that are postmarked Nov. 6 or earlier.
“Four thousand votes? That’s a lot,” Callaway said. “Having been in that position, I understand. I remember calling Mike that election night (four years ago) to concede because I didn’t believe there would be that much difference. But as a candidate I can understand why he wants to wait. You’re always hoping the rabbit will come out of the hat. From his position he would like some magic to occur.”
In Tuesday’s election, it’s not clear how many uncounted ballots come from District 3 voters. Back in 2014, final results released two weeks after election day showed Oliveira defeated Callaway by 66 votes out of more than 3,660 ballots cast. Oliveira finished with 1,867 votes, 50.8 percent of the turnout, and Callaway finished with 1,801 votes, 49 percent.
The unofficial turnout countywide for this week’s election is 16,414, and that total includes all polling place results and all vote-by-mail ballots received in the county elections office by 5 p.m. Tuesday, the county registrar said.
District 3 in Calaveras County includes the Highway 4 corridor from Murphys east toward Forest Meadows, Hathaway Pines, Avery, Arnold, Calaveras Big Trees, Dorrington and Camp Connell.