Garry Bredefeld has fallen 38 votes below the 50-percent-plus-one threshold needed to claim the Fresno City Council District 6 seat without a runoff, according to an updated count released Friday by the Fresno County Clerk’s Office.
If the Fresno County numbers hold up, Bredefeld will face Jeremy Pearce in the November general election.
“We’re very close,” Bredefeld said Friday. “I suspect there are still several thousand votes left to count in District 6. We’re hopeful we will avoid a runoff, but if not, we will work harder than our opposition and continue to spread our positive message about what’s best for our city and our district.”
Bredefeld, a clinical psychologist who held the District 6 seat from 1997 to 2001, had 50.35 percent of the votes as of Wednesday morning. Pearce, an entertainer, had 24.77 percent of the vote. Public relations business owner Holly Carter finished third with just over 20 percent.
On Friday, Bredefeld fell to 49.76 percent of the vote. Pearce grew to 25.14 percent, and Carter held at 20.29 percent.
Pearce acknowledged that thousands of votes are left to be counted, but he said he was excited to have five more months to share his vision with the voters before the general election. He believes his priorities – stopping crime, cutting vagrancy and making Fresno as “business-friendly as possible” – will help close the considerable vote gap between him and Bredefeld.
“We had to fight to get to this runoff, and we will fight to win in November,” he said.
In the Fresno mayor’s race, Fresno County Supervisor Henry R. Perea’s lead dipped slightly.
Perea held 43.8 percent of the votes as of Wednesday. During his campaign leading up to the primary, Perea believed he could secure the 50 percent needed to win the job outright. He issued a press release Wednesday calling himself the mayor-elect. However, he would have needed to win about 63 percent of the 26,500 absentee and provisional ballots in Fresno to pass that threshold.
Brand had secured nearly 32 percent of the vote as of Wednesday. He bested H. Spees, who finished third with 18 percent.
On Friday, Perea was at 43.4 percent. Brand was at 32.05 percent, and Spees rose slightly to 18.55 percent.
Fresno County Clerk Brandi Orth said on Wednesday that there were still about 40,000 absentee ballots and 15,000 provisional ballots left to count. As of Friday, there were 23,000 mail ballots and 15,000 provisional ballots left. The next update will be released Wednesday.
Orth said there was no way to determine how many of these uncounted ballots came from District 6.
In the 21st congressional race, Daniel Parra is 599 votes ahead of fellow Democrat Emilio Huerta for second place. The two remain separated by about 1 percentage point – 21.6 percent to 20.4 – behind incumbent Republican David Valadao.
In the 26th state Assembly District race, Democrat Ruben Macareno widened his lead on Rudy Mendoza from nearly 600 votes on Wednesday to nearly 700 on Friday. Mendoza had been favored to make it past the primary, setting up a rematch with fellow Republican Devon Mathis.
Mathis, who lost to Mendoza in the 2014 primary but beat him in the general election in the fall, had secured 44 percent of the vote as of Friday. Macareno had 29 percent, and Mendoza had 27 percent.
In Kings County, the latest numbers show Measure K still passing with 66.35 percent. It is 66 votes above the 66 percent threshold needed to pass.