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Colin Breezes to Easy San Rafael City Council Race Win; Second Seat too Close to Call

Maribeth Bushey Lang leads Greg Brockbank for the second open council seat by a narrow margin. The latest tally had her ahead by just 231 votes.

One San Rafael City Council candidate crossed the finish line without breaking a sweat.

Another will be gasping for air when they get there.

Incumbent Kate Colin Colin sailed to an easy win with 34.4 percent of the vote in field of four candidates with all precincts reporting, but an undetermined number of provisional ballots – possibly in the thousands – separate  Maribeth Bushey Lang (24.8 percent) and Greg Brockbank (23.2 percent) in a race that will determine the second open seat on the council.

“I’m not ceding anything,” Brockbank said by phone.

The latest tally has Lang clinging to a  231-vote lead.

Randy Warren (17.48 percent) placed fourth.

“I’m now 1.6 points behind and there’s a lot of votes to be counted and it’s going to take three weeks to count them.”

Brockbank, a former councilman, said in the past provisional ballots have represented about 20 to 30 percent of the vote.

“There could be thousands of them,” he said.

Lang said by phone she wasn’t aware if there were enough provisional ballots to sway the race, but said she wouldn’t claim victory until all the votes were counted.

“Our position is that we are confident with the numbers that have come out so far, we are being respectful of the provisional ballots being counted and we look forward to the final tally, however long it takes.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story inaccurately reported that Maribeth Bushey Lang defeated Greg Brockbank for the second open seat on the city council based on the county’s website reporting that 100 percent of precincts had reported. This report did not account for provisional ballots. We regret this error.

Richard Hall November 06, 2013 at 09:43 AM
Stepping back a major theme of this election has been the success of slow growth (opposed to high density housing) candidates. While in San Rafael Randy Warren did not win, he commanded almost 18% of the vote, despite having the smallest election budget. Sadly ranking election budgets and votes were almost directly correlated - however for every dollar spent Warren secured more votes than any other candidate. In other races such as Marinwood CSD Justin slow growth candidates Justin Kai and Deanna Dearborn came out of the blue to displace incumbents. In Corte Madera and San Anselmo fast-growth urbanization candidates such as Kunhardt and Burdo lost their races. This also looks likely for Greg Brockbank in San Rafael - the most committed of the fast growthers in that race. What is a shame is that the press did not pick up more on the significantly compounding issue of San Rafael's pension crisis. A situation not helped by the "old boys (and now old girls)" club controlling San Rafael that has kicked the can down the road. I find it appalling that our city ranks first in the list of Bay Area cities with 25c of every $1 in taxes going to service pensions. It may not take much of a stock market fluctuation to lead to a dire situation like Stockton, Vallejo or Detroit. And once again we have the "old boys (and old girls)" club that created this problem running the show. The one reassuring thing is that the winners should be very concerned that a candidate could come out of the blue with less than half the money they raised and be nipping right at their heels. But the bigger take-away is that across the board Marinites sent a signal that if you're a fast growth candidate - your chances of winning a seat are vastly diminished. This should be a real shot across the bows for those fast growthers sitting in supervisors seats who voted for Plan Bay Area and a Housing Element way out of alignment with voters sentiments.
Kevin Moore November 06, 2013 at 01:00 PM
I wonder how many registered voters bothered to vote? Also, can we get a list of names for the write in candidates?

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