Padilla Ends Chula Vista City Council Race Recount

After weeks of counting ballots, the Chula Vista City Council race is hours away from officially being decided.

Democrat Steve Padilla suspended a recount request Thursday after opponent John McCann won the District 1 seat by two points last month.

In a statement Padilla said it's clear that "many valid ballots are not being counted and this recount is unlikely to change the result."

""In the most common case, registered Chula Vista voters cast ballots on Election Day, but in listing a mailing address on their voting materials, had their votes thrown out. The Registrar’s decision to throw out these valid votes and silence these voters’ voices is wrong," said Padilla.

Now that the recount has been suspended, members of the public have 24 hours to request an additional recount. If no one requests a recount, the results will be official Friday morning.

The race went to a recount earlier this month after a recount was requested by Humberto Peraza Jr., who is lobbyist and a Southwestern Community College board trustee.

San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said Dec. 2 certified results from the election showed McCann won with 18,448 votes to Padilla's 18,446.

McCann said in the future, he and his staff will look into alternative options to help Chula Vista residents ensure their voice is heard, saying he remains “more committed than ever to counting every vote.”

The last time Chula Vista saw a close race like this was in June 2010, when U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) went up against then-Assemblywoman Mary Salas for the 40th state Senate District. The race did end in a recount, but Salas halted it on the third day, allowing Vargas to win by 22 votes.

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