Mark McDermott

Franklin catches Fournell in ongoing tally for third Manhattan Beach City Council seat 

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by Mark McDermott 

Five days after election day, Joe Franklin overtook Gretell Fournell by 35 votes in the race for the third and final open Manhattan Beach City Council seat. 

The Los Angeles County Registrar’s office Monday afternoon released its fifth ballot count since the initial tally on election night, the first count in which the order had changed. 

Incumbents Steve Napolitano and Richard Montgomery remain far ahead, presumably out of reach in the pack of seven candidates. Napolitano has 11,943 votes, or 23.14 percent of the total, and Montgomery 9,939 votes, or 19.26 percent. Franklin surged into third place Monday with 7,669 votes, or 14.86 percent, gaining a 35 vote lead over Fournell, who has 7,634 votes, 14.79 percent. 

Fournell appeared to have a comfortable lead on election night, when she led Frankin 6,319 to 5,835. But in each tally since, that lead has eroded. By Friday, her lead was down to 90 votes, and then on Monday Franklin gained 539 votes to Fournell’s 414 to finally take the lead. 

“Obviously I’m excited by today’s tally and humbled to be in this position,” Franklin said. “There are several more tallies before we have the final outcome but I remain optimistic.” 

According to the Registrar’s office, seven more updates are scheduled: every Tuesday and Friday for the rest of the month, and the final tally on Tuesday November 30. 

“It’s definitely a nail-biter,” Fournell said. “ I understand that because of the various ways people could vote in this election, they need to ensure that there are checks and balances. The good news is that we had an incredible voter turnout, the bad news is it will take time to get the final results.  I’m okay with having to wait.” 

The new tallies have not changed the order of the remaining four candidates.

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