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Bhat-Patel, Hamilton, Sanchez hold leads as vote counts wind down

REGION — Slowly the gap closed and then what looked like possible defeat is now appearing to be more like a victory.

Priya Bhat-Patel, the political neophyte, has inched her way past Corrine Busta in the highly competitive race for the District 3 seat on the Carlsbad City Council. As of Wednesday, Bhat-Patel held a 117-vote advantage, although ballots are still outstanding.

Meanwhile, the results for Barbara Hamilton have taken the same path as she now leads Tracy Carmichael in District 1. Hamilton once trailed by 53 votes, but now leads by 56.

And even though Councilwoman Cori Schumacher lost by a significant margin to incumbent Mayor Matt Hall, the makeup of the council is on the verge of one of its most dramatic swings ever.

Should Bhat-Patel and Hamilton maintain their leads and win, the balance of power on the council will appear to shift to an agenda and means of conducting business opposite of Hall and what has traditionally been for the city.

In Oceanside, incumbents Esther Sanchez and Chuck Lowery have also been locked in a close battle in their District 1 race. Lowery took an election night lead, but Sanchez has rallied over the past week to take a slim 73-vote lead.

In other election news —

  • Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall easily won re-election in what was expected to be a close race against challenger Councilwoman Cori Schumacher. Hall gathered 56 percent of the vote to win his third term.
  • Measure HH, the $265 million school bond for the Carlsbad Unified School District, passed with 61 percent of the vote. The bond will provide facilities upgrades throughout the district to nearly all schools, several of which have not been upgraded since their original construction in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • As for the Carlsbad Unified School District, incumbent Veronica Williams defeated challenger Melanie Burkholder, 54-46, for the Area 1 seat. This will be Williams’ third term on the board.
  • In Oceanside, Christopher Rodriguez won the District 2 election with 42 percent of the vote. Victor Roy has won the race for treasurer, with a 54-46 victory over Rafe Trickey Jr.
  • In the Area 1 and 2 races for the Oceanside Unified School District, Eric Joyce (District 1) and Stacy Begin (District 2) each won their respective races. Joyce beat out three other candidates with 42 percent, while Begin topped Ann Crowin, 64-36.
  • Additionally, Measure Y will not pass as it was defeated 54-46. The measure would have amended the land use element of the Oceanside General Plan to require voter approval to change the land use designation or zoning of agriculture or open space land.
  • San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond easily won his seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors with a 58-42 win over Michelle Gomez. Desmond nearly avoided the general election with a dominant win in the primary, tallying 45 percent of the vote in the four-person field.