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Ortiz down from Cohen by three votes in close race: Final count for Burlingame City Council today
November 13, 2013, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Chris Metzcus
Burlingame City Council candidate Ricardo Ortiz, standing and center, checks election results with Nuts for Candy’s John Kevranian.

Election Day results which showed Ricardo Ortiz with 10 more votes than Russ Cohen for the third and final slot on the Burlingame City Council have been updated and now show Cohen with three more votes than Ortiz.

The San Mateo County Elections Office released updated numbers from the Nov. 5 election 4:30 p.m. yesterday, but will also release final numbers today at 4:30 p.m.

Ortiz formerly had 15.6 percent with 1,644 votes and Cohen took 15.5 percent with 1,634 votes, respectively. The vote then flipped when numbers were reported Friday and Cohen led by 17 votes. Yesterday, the latest count revealed the vote difference had narrowed, with Cohen still on top. Cohen took 1,995 and Ortiz took 1,992 votes, according to the latest count. Both have 15.5 percent of the vote. Either candidate would fill a third open seat, as two other candidates already decisively won. Mayor Ann Keighran got 22.96 percent of the vote, while Councilman Michael Brownrigg took 20.55 percent of the vote.

Cohen, 54, said the race is certainly closer than close. Cohen is vice president of the Burlingame Historical Society, founder and chief curator at the Burlingame History Museum and executive director of the Palo Alto Business and Professional Association. He was on the council from 2005-2007.

“I don’t think it can get much closer than this,” he said.

The results are nuts, said Ortiz, 50. He is waiting it out for the results today.

“I don’t know if my stomach can handle this,” he said. “You go from 10 over, to 17 under, to three under. Holy smokes.”

He has lived in Burlingame for 20 years and is the Burlingame High School Drama Boosters president and is on the Peninsula Health Care District long term planning committee.

Meanwhile, another close race, for the third and final slot on the Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District Board of Trustees, seems to be solidifying with Amy Koo up 89 votes over Herb Neuman after Election Day results had her up 21 votes. Neuman could not be reached for comment, but as of Friday he had yet to concede.

Either candidate would fill the third open seat on the board, as the other two have already been decisively filled by incumbent Charles Velschow and Suvarna Bhopale, who received 22.8 percent and 18.1 percent of the vote, respectively, according to the latest results released today. Naomi Nishimoto, Rakesh Hegde and Kelly Redmon also ran. Incumbents Andy Stulbarg and Brian Matthews did not seek re-election.

In the Burlingame race, Nirmala Bandrapalli, Steve Duncan, Alexander England Kent, Andrew Peceimer and Robert Schinagl also ran. Incumbent Cathy Baylock opted not to run again. Of the 15,857 people registered to vote in Burlingame, 4,948 cast ballots in the election, meaning voter turnout was around 31.2 percent.

The provisional ballot count hasn’t been completed yet and Elections Office doesn’t keep records of vote counting subtotals, so it is unsure how many votes are still left to count, Elections Office officials said. The Elections Office will begin its 1 percent manual tally Nov. 14 in anticipation of certifying the results in early December. The tally confirms that the election was properly conducted. More information can be found at

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: votes, percent, cohen, burlingame, results, election,

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