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Some races for school board, city council still too close to call

Election ballot, file photo. // M. Hazlip

Sentinel staff report–
Election results for Citrus Heights City Council and school board races were updated by county officials on Thursday, but some races remain too close to call as there are roughly 192,000 ballots remaining to be counted county-wide.

City Council
City Council District 5 remains the closest race, with Mayor Porsche Middleton currently at 51% and Taste of Tuscany business owner Natalee Price at 48%. With the latest vote count, Middleton increased her lead to 37 votes ahead of Price, up from a 27-vote lead after election night.

Middleton did not immediately respond to a request for a statement Saturday, but Price called the close race “exciting” and said “The win is not in yet, and I am eagerly awaiting more results.”

The next vote count update is slated to be released on Nov. 15 at 4 p.m., and vote totals will continue to be released each Tuesday and Friday until all votes are counted. County elections officials report a total of 211,639 ballots have been counted so far, with an estimated 192,079 remaining to be processed.

In the race for District 4, Jayna Karpinski-Costa increased her lead to 49% of the vote, with Albert Fox holding steady at 32% in second place and Manuel Israel Perez-Salazar coming in at 18%.

Karpinski-Costa said in a statement Saturday, “I am very optimistic about the future of Citrus Heights and thankful to the many wonderful people that supported my campaign. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

In District 2, former Elephant Bar manager Michael Nishimura increased his lead to 36% in the latest vote count, with contender MariJane Lopez-Taff holding steady at 31%, followed by Steven Durham at 16% and James Tipton at 15%.

Neither of the top two candidates responded to a request for a statement by press time on Saturday.

School Board
In the race for school board Area 7, a new trustee area covering a large portion of Citrus Heights, Councilman Steve Miller commands a strong lead at 45%, with 2,739 votes. Murad “Moe” Sarama is in second place with 28% and Oleg Shishko has 25% of the vote.

In a statement Saturday, Miller told The Sentinel: “I am honored to be chosen to represent our students, parents, teachers, and community members on our school board.” He said he plans to “put together a regular conversation regarding our schools” and said he’s hopeful Sarama and Shishko will join him in the effort.

Sarama on Wednesday said “the race is not over yet,” noting many more ballots yet to be counted.

In Area 6, Ben Avey holds a commanding lead of 61% over Ray Ward’s 38%, and in Area 5, Mesa Verde High School alumnae Tanya Kravchuk holds a slim lead at 41%, compared to 38% for current board member Michael McKibbin. Jeffrey Perrine is in third, with 19%.

The Sentinel will include additional updates in local races on Thursday.

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