Bry widens lead to 444 votes over Scott Sherman for second slot in San Diego mayoral runoff

Outgoing District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry addresses the audience filling University City High School on the evening of Jan. 29.
(Corey Levitan)

Councilwoman appears likely to maintain lead with 22,000 late-arriving ballots left to count

Barbara Bry widened her lead over Scott Sherman on Thursday, March 19, for the second slot in a November runoff for San Diego mayor.

Bry’s lead increased from 444 votes to 522 votes when the county Registrar of Voters added more late-arriving ballots to the candidate totals. Bry seems likely to keep the second slot, based on how the ballots have trended since the primary.

The candidate who secures the second slot in the runoff will face Assemblyman Todd Gloria, who took first place in the primary by a wide margin. Bry and Sherman are both on the City Council.

Bry trailed Sherman by 3,063 votes the morning after the primary, but has gained on him in each nightly update.

The lead dropped from 3,063 to 2,140 on March 5, then to 2,019 on March 6, 1,701 on March 7, 1,264 on March 8, 903 on March 9, 836 on March 10, 758 on March 11, 678 on March 12 and 337 on March 13. On Monday night, Bry pulled ahead by nine votes, increased that to 169 on Tuesday, 444 on Wednesday and 522 on Thursday.

There are still 22,000 late-arriving countywide ballots left to be counted, just under 7 percent of the 350,000 that were remaining the morning after the primary.

It is not known how many of the 22,000 are from city voters. The registrar said the next update would come at 5 p.m. Friday “or later.”

If the margin is particularly small, either side might request a recount.

Bry and Gloria are Democrats and Sherman is a Republican.

Campaign officials say the late-arriving votes are trending in Bry’s direction because more Democrats than Republicans delayed casting their ballots because of uncertainty regarding the Democratic presidential primary.

The new ballots added Thursday to candidate totals also changed the size of the leads of two candidates who are in second place in separate races for Council District 1 and Council District 3.

In District 1, Will Moore’s lead over Aaron Brennan shrank slightly from 698 votes to 695 votes on Thursday for the second slot in the November runoff. The candidate who ends up securing second place will face Joe LaCava, who finished first in the primary by a wide margin.

In District 3, Toni Duran’s lead over Chris Olsen increased from 1,109 votes to 1,116 votes on Thursday for the second slot in the November runoff. The candidate who secures second place will face Stephen Whitburn, who finished first in the primary by a wide margin.

— David Garrick is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune


4:20 p.m. March 20, 2020: This story has been updated with the latest vote counts.