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Sonoma County Assistant Sheriff Eddie Engram is right on the razor’s edge between winning the race for sheriff or having to go to a November runoff election, with more ballots still to be counted.
Updated results announced Friday evening show Engram remains barely above half of the vote, with 33,245 of the 66,355 votes counted so far, or 50.1 percent. If Engram drops below that 50 percent plus one vote, he will head to a runoff election against retired San Francisco police Sgt. Carl Tennenbaum, who had 27.57 percent of the vote in the latest tally.
Sonoma County Registrar Deva Proto said her office continues processing absentee ballots, the last of which must be received by this coming Tuesday, June 14 and postmarked as of June 7. The election results must be certified by July 7.
“While all precincts have reported, the Registrar of Voters is still counting mail in ballots and certifying the election,” Engram stated in an Instagram post Wednesday, following election night. “Right now I’m at 50% plus 1.5 votes. I need 50% plus 1 vote to win this election. While I am feeling confident that I’ll win, it’s very close – too close to call quite yet.”
“Everybody has to acknowledge notwithstanding the outstanding votes, but 50 percent of the county didn’t vote for Eddie Engram, and they voted for one of the other of us to race, so I think the message is really strong,” Tennenbaum said.
Tennenbaum, whose percentage of the vote increased slightly in the latest tally Friday, said he is preparing for a runoff election.
“I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. And what I’ve been doing is I’ve been running a grassroots campaign. We’ve got really good momentum right now. My strength and the way we’ve generated the amount of support we have is by me being out in the community and meeting with the community and just keep repeating our message spreading the word, getting name recognition,” he said.
Proto said, “We have 30 days to certify the results of the election and provide official results. While we do not plan on taking the full legally allotted time period, we do not currently have an estimated date of certification. Until we certify our official results, we will not know the final results of any races. We still have a lot of ballot processing that must be done in our office.”