Candidate Sheree Lustgarten trailed closely behind as provisional ballots continued to be verified and counted Wednesday, Nov. 7.
Provisional ballots are issued to those who vote in the wrong polling place or are used when the voter’s identification is in question.
Farinha had 1,252 votes and McCord was on his heels with 1,178 while Lustgarten checked in with 1,158 votes with all of the city’s precincts reporting just before
2 a.m. Wednesday.
Stanislaus County Clerk-Recorder Lee Lundrigan said hundreds of provisional ballots from different precincts in Stanislaus County were being sorted through on Wednesday morning.
“It’s hard to tell how many there are for each precinct until they are sorted,” she said, adding that the verification process and counting of those ballots was expected to continue into late next week.
“One county precinct had more than 200 provisional ballots, while another had around 20,” Lundrigan said. “We have no way of knowing which ones are from Patterson at this point.”
Poll worker Vivian Ratliff said about 100 provisional ballots were collected just at the Las Palmas Senior Housing Complex polling place.
Farinha said Wednesday that he was cautiously optimistic. He said he was not claiming victory, but he was encouraged.
“If the trend continues, I’m very excited,” he said. “I’m happy to continue to promote Patterson and have more time to work on what we’d like to accomplish.”
Farinha said his main concerns would be to work on jobs — attracting different types of jobs for different types of workers — and public safety. He also noted downtown park improvements as a priority.
McCord laid out what he saw as priorities for the council, including preparing for planned business growth and laying infrastructure for new home construction.
“With 2,300 jobs coming in the next 18 months, we need to find places for people to live,” he said on Monday. “We also need to get a study done to find out how much an independent police department would cost, so we can get competitive bids from the sheriff’s office for more officers.”
Mayor Luis Molina appeared well on his way to securing a second term, with a commanding 75 percent to 25 percent lead over mayoral candidate Troy McComak. Molina had collected 2,601 votes, while McComak had 868.
McComak was left at a loss.
“I don’t really know what I’m going to do now,” he said from his home late Tuesday, Nov. 6. “I guess I’ll have to get a real job. That will be the first thing I’ll do. I’ve been out looking and applying, but it’s rough out there.”
Molina continues to look toward the future.
“We need to build on what we’ve done so far,” Molina said. “We need to continue building relationships and working on what I call my three pillars — public safety, support for our youth and jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Council candidate Tony Camacho, who was in fourth place with 939 votes, said he was disappointed by the outcome. Councilwoman Annette Smith trailed behind Camacho with 794 votes, while council candidate Carlos Gustavo Fierros was in sixth place with 562 votes.
Camacho, who led fundraising for the council campaign with more than $5,000, mostly from labor unions, said it might not be his last time running for office.
“I thought we would do better tonight — at least third place,” Camacho said. “It was a learning experience. I wouldn’t rule out another run. Right now, I wouldn’t say yes or no.”
Councilwoman Annette Smith wished luck to the potential winners.
“I hope the results stay the same. I think both (Farinha and McCord) will serve the council and the city very well,” she said. “I wish them both well. They’ll do good things.”
Fierros also wished the winners well and said he hoped they would follow their campaign promises.
“It’s what the people wanted,” he said, adding that he was thankful for his family and for the community members who voted for him.
• Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, or email@example.com.