Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman’s lead over challenger Jose Moreno in the race for the District 3 council seat has narrowed to just 61 votes, as the county Registrar of Voters continues to count vote-by-mail and provisional ballots.

The latest tally posted by the Registrar Thursday evening showed Brandman’s lead had dropped from 268 votes on Election Day to 61, with 122,028 ballots still left to count countywide.

Vote tallies from the Registrar of Voters’ website as of 5 pm. on November 17.

In another close race, Republican Denise Barnes has slightly increased her lead over fellow Republican Steve Chavez Lodge — going from 108 votes on Election Day to 254 votes as of Thursday.

If Barnes manages to keep her lead and Moreno pulls ahead, the election would shift power from the current three-member city council majority, which is heavily backed by the city’s business establishment, to a new four-member majority on a new seven-member council.

Brandman, who is hoping to be elected to a second term, has fought a bitter campaign against Moreno, a former elementary school district board member and the plaintiff in a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit that triggered the switch to district elections and an expansion of the council.

Both Barnes and Moreno are endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait, who backed a slate of four candidates who vowed to oppose subsidy deals for major business interests.

Two other Tait-backed candidates in Districts 4 and 5 — Arturo Ferreras and Mark Lopez — lost their races to incumbent Councilwoman Lucille Kring, and Planning Commissioner Steve Faessel, respectively.

The Registrar will continue to post new vote tallies on its website every weekday evening at 5 p.m.

Contact Thy Vo at or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

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