Yates wins in Morro Bay; Marx’s lead is narrower in San Luis Obispo

Eight days and several close calls after Election Day, the mayoral seat of Morro Bay is finally decided — former mayor Bill Yates won over City Councilwoman Betty Winholtz by 73 votes.

In San Luis Obispo’s race for mayor, City Councilwoman Jan Marx is still ahead of former councilman Paul Brown, but 189 votes are now separating them. That’s less than the 298 votes reported Friday.

The margin could change in Morro Bay when the last 70 ballots are counted – but not enough to flip the election in favor of Winholtz.

“It’s very encouraging,” Yates said. “I’m happy that the margin has widened, rather than shrunk.”

Yates finished last week only 57 votes ahead of Winholtz.

He is formulating his first goals for what he intends to do when he takes office, and will announce them later. “I don’t think they are anything that would surprise anyone,” he said.

While the separation between Marx and Brown for San Luis Obispo mayor dropped 109 votes since Friday, it is unlikely that Brown would gain over Marx.

Brown would need more than 70 percent of the 478 ballots that still have yet to be counted to top Marx’s lead, said County Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald.

Marx has said that she will not claim the victory until all the votes have been tallied.

“I think San Luis Obispo is a city that is always interested in balance and a number of races have been very close in votes over the years,” she said. “From the beginning I thought it would be close and that is why I worked so hard.”

There are 3,642 ballots remaining countywide: 798 absentee ballots, 2,754 provisional and 90 nonprocessed.

The county Clerk-Recorder’s Office will resume counting the remaining ballots today and should have the all county results certified before Thanksgiving.