Zapf, Cate lead in tight City Council races - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Zapf, Cate lead in tight City Council races

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Councilwoman Lorie Zapf and taxpayer advocate Chris Cate took leads Tuesday in the two tightest races for San Diego City Council.

However, the tally of absentee ballots was too close to project if one or both would avoid a November runoff election.

Zapf, who needs to shift from District 6 to District 2 because the council maps were redrawn a couple of years ago, had 54.5 percent of the early vote, while ex-federal prosecutor Sarah Boot was second with 36.4 percent. Two other candidates collected 9 percent between them.

Zapf and Boot are seeking to represent a district in Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach and Point Loma that was vacated by Kevin Faulconer when he became mayor. He was set to be termed-out at the end of this year, anyway.

Ed Harris is filling in during the interim and agreed not to run for the seat as a condition of his appointment.

In District 6, Cate had 46.1 percent of the vote. Educator Carol Kim was second with 30.9 percent and former San Diego Unified Trustee Mitz Lee was third with 12.6 percent.

Their district includes Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa and Mira Mesa.

Candidates who get more than 50 percent will win their seat outright. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters will face each other in this fall's general election.

Councilman David Alvarez, who lost to Faulconer in February's special election, was on his way to reelection tonight. He had 75.5 percent of the absentee ballots, compared to 24.5 percent for retired contractor Lincoln Pickard in District 8, which includes Barrio Logan, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro.

Councilwoman Myrtle Cole, who joined the panel in a special election last year, gained 57.7 percent of the vote in District 4 in Southeast San Diego. Bruce Williams, with 18.1 percent, was second.

The outcome of the races will determine whether or not Democrats on the technically nonpartisan City Council will hold their veto-proof majority. Zapf and Cate are Republicans, and Boot and Kim are Democrats.

Six votes are required to override mayoral vetoes, and with Harris in office, the Democrats hold a 6-3 advantage on the council. Whether the margin holds, increases or shrinks below the threshold will impact contentious issues that might arise in the future, although the council members agree with each other and the Republican Faulconer on most things.

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