Villalba, Duran still deadlocked

first_imgA recount to decide a tied election for a school board seat in the Los Nietos School District will continue today, after mistakes by election officials caused delays Monday.As lawyers for both candidates looked on, only three of four precincts had been counted by the end of the day, prompting officials to reconvene the process at 9 a.m. today.Officials are hoping to resolve a 903-vote tie between incumbent Gloria Duran and challenger Diana Villalba, who is paying nearly $4,200 for the recount.The Nov. 8 election that pitted five candidates for three available board seats left challengers Art Escobedo and Grisel Vasquez with clear victories, while 16-year board incumbent Duran and challenger Villalba tied for the third seat.At the end of Monday’s recount session, Villalba wound up with one extra vote. Her campaign consultants then agreed to pay for a second day of recounting. “I have champagne cooling in the refrigerator right now,” Villalba said, who would receive a refund for the recount if she wins. Duran was not at the recount at the county’s election headquarters in Norwalk. She had a previously scheduled conference in Washington, D.C.“This is democracy in action,” her campaign consultant Doug Howard said. “I’m here to watch a great win for Gloria in the end.”The process was tedious, with one election staff member reading the ballot and calling out the results, while another worker looked at the ballot simultaneously to ensure it was read correctly. Two other officials marked the votes on paper, grouping them by fives. The staffers then double-checked with each other each time a vote was called out. The candidates’ attorneys were then allowed to look at each ballot to make sure they were read correctly.Also observing were Rio Hondo College trustee Gary Mendez, Villalba’s campaign consultant, and one-time Los Nietos board candidate Jesse Benavente, who dropped out of the election. [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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