Race for Carlsbad City Council too close to call for final seat (update)

Race for Carlsbad City Council too close to call for final seat (update)
Carlsbad voters cast their ballots on Tuesday to decide who will represent them locally on the City Council. Photo by Steve Puterski

CARLSBAD — The margin between incumbent Lorraine Wood and challenger Cori Schumacher is just 13 votes.

In the latest release of ballots by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Schumacher leads 10,840-10,827. Although there are still 595,000 outstanding ballots throughout the county, it appears a relatively small number may be left to count in Carlsbad.

Incumbent Keith Blackburn, meanwhile, has been re-elected and still holds a lead of more than 2,000 votes.

Previous update

It appears one city council race is too close to call.

Challenger Cori Schumacher leads incumbent Lorraine Wood by 73 votes (10,471 to 10,398) after the San Diego County Registrar of Voters released the second round of votes on Wednesday morning.

By press time, there were still 620,000 mail and provisional ballots outstanding in the county.

As of Sept. 9, there were 66,196 registered voters in the city.

However, it leaves very few ballots left in Carlsbad as each candidate waits for the outcome.

In front, meanwhile, is incumbent Keith Blackburn, who gathered 23.99 percent of the vote and holds a lead of nearly 2,000 votes.

“Both of us are probably looking to see a trend,” Wood added. “I think it’s good and whoever prevails, it’s good. It’ll be what Carlsbad wants and needs.”

Wood, however, is seeking re-election although she has never been in a race this close. She said her campaign has done everything it could in the months leading up to Election Day.

“We worked really hard the last six months,” Wood explained. “I thought it went well. We did the best we could, I think.”

In a crowded field, six candidates ran for the two seats, although a seventh, Melanie Burkholder, also appeared on the ballot even though she dropped out several weeks ago. Burkholder gathered 2,905 (5.59 percent) of the vote to finish sixth.

In fourth, meanwhile, was former Carlsbad Unified School District board member and president Ann Tanner, who collected 16.76 percent. She was followed by fellow challengers Bill Fowler in fifth with 8.89 percent and 23-year-old Brandon Rowley, who finished seventh with just 4.61 percent.

Schumacher, though, was arguably the highest profile challenger after she became one of the public faces in the ‘No on A’ campaign and special election in February. The measure galvanized the city as a record turnout participated in the election to defeat the proposed luxury mall on the south shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

She raised more than $30,000 to compete with Blackburn and Wood and used an effective ground game, according to data analyst Vince Vasquez.

Wood, meanwhile, has been an elected official for the past 16 years, with the last four on the council and previous 12 as city clerk.

She also raised tens of thousands of dollars to run her campaign.

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