Recounts underway to settle tight races in Mountain View, Los Altos Hills

A Santa Clara County recount policy in place since May of 2016 is now playing out in two of the County’s cities – Mountain View and Los Altos Hills. According to county law, recounts are required for races where the margin of victory is less than either 0.25% of ballots cast or 25 votes.

In Mountain View, each voter is able to cast up to four votes for the four available seats. With 32,614 ballots cast in Mountain View’s Measure C contest, it is believed that about 33,000 ballots were cast in the city council race. 

Incumbent Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga, former Councilmember and Assemblymember Sally Lieber and incumbent Councilmember Lisa Matichak each have won a seat, coming in first, second and third, respectively.

At the time of certification, the difference between the fourth and fifth place slots was just 58 votes. Former Councilmember and civil engineer Pat Showalter holds a slight lead with 12,060 votes, as compared to current fifth place holder, housing advocate and cybersecurity professional Alex Nunez, with 12,002 votes.

Former Councilmember Showalter described the hand count as an “intensive process,” adding that she is “cautiously optimistic and appreciates the work of all elections staff.”

“Alex Nunez is a great person and I sincerely hope he stays active in Mountain View politics, whatever the outcome, and that this is not his last election,” she added.

In nearby Los Altos Hills, an ever tighter race is being recounted. With voters in that city selecting three councilmembers, three of the four candidates are within 38 votes of one another, and the difference between third and fourth place is currently one single vote.

With Mayor Michelle Wu leaving the Council along with Councilmembers Courtenay Corrigan and Roger Spreen, current results show Linda Swan in first place with 2,617 votes, Stanley Mok in second place with 2,532, Lisa Schmidt in third place with 2,495 votes, and Jay Sutaria in fourth place with 2,494 votes.

Final results of these hand recounts are expected in two weeks.