In the latest vote count released on Friday afternoon, Mayor Craig Hughes is still trailing retired family physician Mary Hufty by just 16 votes in the race for a seat on the Portola Valley Town Council. Since the early results were released on election night, about 113 more votes were counted for Portola Valley council, according to San Mateo County's website.
As vote counting continues, Planning Commissioners Judith Hasko and Craig Taylor, along with Hufty, are leading the race for the three seats on the Council. Hughes was slightly ahead of Hufty earlier on election night, but Hufty overtook him by the end of the evening.
Hufty, who also ran for council in 2020, has 762 votes, or 17.8%, as of Nov. 11. Hughes has 746 votes, or 17.5%.
"I've congratulated Judith and Craig T., since their lead looks big enough it'd be hard for them to drop out of top three," Hughes said in a statement on Wednesday morning. "It's neck-and-neck between Mary and me, and with lots of votes outstanding, I remain confident that I'll take the lead back and end up victorious…. but we'll see!"
Hasko is leading with 1,252 votes, or 29.3%. Taylor has 911 votes, or 21.3%.
"I'm very honored to be in the lead at this point and I look forward to seeing the final results when they're available," Hasko said shortly after 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
Each candidate received two more votes between the Tuesday night and Thursday counts.
An estimated 110,000 ballots remain to be counted for the entire county as of Friday. Assistant Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Assistant Chief Elections Officer Jim Irizarry couldn't answer questions about how many ballots from Portola Valley voters were among them.
"Unfortunately, we cannot provide a breakdown by jurisdiction until the ballots have been counted," he said in an email.
Emergency Preparedness Committee Chair Dale Pfau appears to have lost his bid to join the council, with 14.1%, or 603 votes.
Pfau and Hughes sparred over the reasons behind Pfau's removal from the Wildfire Preparedness Committee earlier in the year and controversial content on Pfau's Twitter account, now set to private, which featured a photo of Watergate felon G. Gordon Liddy as his profile picture.
"I think being the incumbent helps and hurts; this was clearly a contentious election," Hughes said. "Voters have clearly rejected Dale's message."
A Political Action Committee aimed at unseating current council members raised $40,000 and endorsed Hasko, Hufty and Pfau for council.
Whomever is elected will play a part in shaping the town's housing element. The town is charged with planning for at least 253 units of new housing over the next eight years through the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA).
The town received feedback, via a letter, from the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) on Wednesday, Nov. 9, according to Town Manager Jeremy Dennis. An Almanac report on the letter is in the works.
The county plans to release its next vote tally before 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14.