Race for Morro Bay mayor tightens as more votes are tallied

The race for Morro Bay mayor tightened even further on Friday after San Luis Obispo County elections officials counted more vote-by-mail ballots that had not yet been tallied.

Former Mayor Bill Yates remained in the lead over City Councilwoman Betty Winholtz, but by just 57 votes. Going into Friday, he had led by 65 votes. Earlier in the week he led by 89 votes.

The countywide vote tally grew by more than 11,000 on Friday, according to figures from the county Clerk-Recorder’s Office. Officials there are still working their way through counting vote-by-mail ballots that got turned in on Tuesday.

Provisional and damaged ballots also must be checked and counted. Provisional ballots are those cast by voters whose eligibility must be confirmed.

In other close races:

  • City Councilwoman Jan Marx widened her lead over former City Councilman Paul Brown for mayor of San Luis Obispo to 298 votes. Going into Friday, she led by 227 votes.
  • In the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, Jim Quensenberry’s lead over incumbent Kathryn Eisendrath Rogers shrank to 93. After Thursday’s count, he had led by 286 votes for the third seat on the school board.
  • Field Gibson’s lead over Jeanne Dugger for the third seat on the Paso Robles Public Schools board grew to 180 from the earlier 140.
  • And, in San Luis Obispo County’s closest contest, Ester Garcia’s one-vote lead over Michael Wimmer for the third seat on the Shandon Joint Unified School District board grew to three votes. As of Friday, Garcia has 139 votes, to Wimmer’s 136.

County elections staff expects the counting to resume Monday.