Santa Clara Police Chief Race Too Close to Call
By Robert Haugh
Occasionally, media outlets make mistakes, ourselves included. Though we, and other media outlets gave the Santa Clara Police Chief race win to Police Chief Mike Sellers, indications are that challenger Pat Nikolai may pull ahead as thousands of ballots remain uncounted.
When early numbers were reported on Tuesday evening, Sellers led 7,626 to 6,301 votes – 55 to 45 percent. As of now (Friday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.), Sellers hangs onto a 682-vote lead – 13,051 to 12,369 – 51 to 49 percent.
Nikolai has won 53 percent to Sellers’ 47 percent since initial reports were released. The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters expects there are about 13,000 ballots remaining uncounted in Santa Clara. If the trend continues , Nikolai could win the race by approximately 100 to 200 votes.
An automatic recount is required when an election is decided by .5 percent or less, which is 175 votes based on the expected turnout, so this race will likely see a recount.
That would be a substantial comeback by Nikolai, especially against an incumbent Chief.
We will update the Police Chief race later.