Candidates Nathan Steele and Lisa Landau could soon be Seal Beach’s newest city councilmembers after maintaining their lead in the city’s runoff elections Wednesday evening.
Steele led his opponent by 185 votes after the second ballot count update, while Landau had a 303-vote lead in her race, according to Wednesday’s ballot counts.
There were only 36 ballots left to process, according to the OC Registrar of Voters website. But, that remaining number could change as ballots mailed and postmarked by Jan. 31 arrive until Feb. 3.
Both the District 3 and 5 seats were on the ballot in November, but because no candidate won 50% of the votes plus one, the two top vote getters had to battle it out once again in a runoff election required by the city charter.
In the initial ballot counts Tuesday, District 3 candidate Landau was ahead of her opponent Stephanie Wade by over 300 votes, while District 5 candidate Steele was ahead of his opponent Mariann Klinger by over 150 votes.
In November’s election, Wade was ahead of Landau by 55 votes when the OC Registrar of Voters finalized the election in December.
Wade is a former U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer and Landau is an accountant.
If she had won by the city charter’s required margin in the November election, Wade would have become the first openly transgender woman to be elected to office in Orange County.
[Read: Will Seal Beach Voters Elect OC’s First Openly Transgender City Council Member?]
In District 5, Steele, the head of an advertising agency that specializes in Christian teaching programming, was in the lead to beat out Klinger, a City Planning Commissioner, by over 660 votes at the end of the count in December.
Wade was endorsed by the Democratic party.
Landau and Steele have been endorsed by the Republican party.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said the remaining number of ballots to count could change if county officials receive ballots on or before Jan. 31. It changes as ballots mailed and postmarked on Jan. 31 arrive until Feb. 3, we regret the error.
Hosam Elattar is a Voice of OC reporter and corps member with Report for America, a GroundTruth initiative. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @ElattarHosam.
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