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Middleton, Price in close race for Citrus Heights’ District 5

Businesswoman Natalee Price, left, is in a close race with Mayor Porsche Middleton, right, for Citrus Heights City Council District 5. // Images courtesy, candidates

Sentinel staff report–
Less than 30 votes separate Citrus Heights Mayor Porsche Middleton and challenger Natalee Price in the race for the District 5 council seat.

Latest election results, as of 1:30 p.m. Thursday, show Middleton ahead with 51% of the vote and Price trailing at 48%. Total votes counted so far only amount to 1,291, with 659 votes going to Middleton and 632 votes going to Price.

The next update in vote counting is due to be released this Friday at 4 p.m. by Sacramento County Elections officials.

As of Thursday afternoon, Middleton had not released a public statement about the election results on either social media or in a news release. Neither candidate immediately responded to an email inquiry on Thursday.

Price posted an update Wednesday on her Facebook Page offering a thank-you note to supporters, but not indicating victory or defeat.

“Thank you to everyone who supported me with a yard sign. Thank you to everyone who shared my information with others,” wrote Price. “Thank you to everyone that took time to engage, to ask questions and share ideas. I am grateful for every vote. I am grateful for you.”

The candidates ran on opposite platforms, with Middleton highlighting work the city did while she has been on the council and Price criticizing the status quo.

Middleton, who has been a council member for four years, said in a Sentinel questionnaire that she was running for re-election “to continue moving our city forward,” noting “We have improved our roads, strengthened public safety, and supported our business community.”

Price, who owns the restaurant Taste of Tuscany, said she was running because she watched “as we lost our problem-oriented police force, our motor patrol disappeared, drug use became highly visible, hypodermic debris and litter accumulated, homelessness climbed, and both community pages and neighborhood meetings were riddled with unheard voices.”

The two also earned split endorsements from current council members, with Price being endorsed by Vice Mayor Tim Schaefer and Councilman Bret Daniels, while Middleton won endorsements from Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins and Councilman Steve Miller.

The race for District 5 has far-exceeded the other district races in fundraising, with The Sentinel reporting last week that Middleton had raised over $37,000 in contributions this year, compared with Price at just $6,700. Middleton also reported early contributions over the past two years, bringing contribution totals to her 2022 election committee to more than $78,000.

Related: Citrus Heights City Council Election: Who’s funding who?

In the city’s two other district races, Jayna Karpinski-costa has a significant lead in District 4 with 48% of the vote, followed by Albert Fox at 32% and Manuel Israel Perez-Salazar at 19%. In District 2, Michael Nishimura is leading at 35%, followed by MariJane Lopez-Taff at 31%, Steve Forrest Durham at 17% and James Tipton at 15%.

The Sentinel will publish updated results in local races for school board and city council this weekend.

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