Outcome of Costa Mesa mayor and council elections still unclear – Orange County Register

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Election Day was Tuesday, but Costa Mesa is among a number of cities where it remains unclear who will take seats on the dais as mayor or city council member.

Ballots (mostly those that were dropped off or mailed on or just before election day) are still being counted and as of Friday, about 306,000 were outstanding countywide, according to the OC Registrar of Voters website.

After the latest update, Mayor John Stephens still held a lead over opponent John Moorlach, a former county supervisor and state senator – but the roughly 1,700 votes between them may not be insurmountable. District 3 Councilwoman Andrea Marr was leading two opponents, but was only ahead of second-place John Thomas Patton by a slim 100 or so votes.

Councilwoman Arlis Reynolds in District 5 looked well positioned to win reelection, but she said Friday she didn’t want to speculate before the votes are all tallied. (While Reynolds’ lead was a little smaller than Stephens’, a much larger pool of voters can cast ballots for mayor.)

Reynolds said she had expected Measure K (which would lift development restrictions along certain commercial corridors) to be close. It came out ahead in the first batch of results announced on election night, but as of Friday it was losing – though by fewer than 150 votes.

If the measure doesn’t ultimately make it across the finish line, Reynolds said city officials still would likely continue the conversation with residents about the need to add more homes and to revitalize aging commercial areas.

“I’m hoping at the end of these vote counts we end up with a council that’s still trying to solve the problem and that agrees that housing affordability is a major problem,” she said.

The OC Registrar of Voters will announced updated vote totals at 5 p.m. every weekday until all ballots are counted.

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