Shelly Masur, who lost her bid for county supervisor in the November election, actually received more votes than her winning opponent in the Fourth District she had hoped to represent.
Voters currently elect supervisors countywide so an individual district’s results are not enough to determine the outcome. However, in the same Nov. 6 election in which Warren Slocum prevailed, San Mateo County voters also passed a charter change amendment switching to district elections. In other words, had the new method been in place, Masur might be the one preparing for swearing in next month.
In District Four, 79.7 of registered voters turned out and 22,535 favored Masur while 19,317 chose Slocum, according to the official Statement of the Vote released by the county Elections Office.
District Four includes Redwood City, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto and the unincorporated areas of North Fair Oaks and Oak Knoll.
Slocum received the most votes in the four remaining districts, particularly the third in which he garnered nearly 10,000 more than Masur.
Slocum, who has been a consistent supporter of district elections, said his position has not changed and that he campaigned countywide because that was the system in place at the time.
"Now as supervisor-elect, I look forward to working to best represent my constituents in District 4 and throughout the county. I plan to be a local voice for District Four and a strong voice for San Mateo County,” Slocum wrote in an email.
In the June primary, the results were reversed with the district mirroring the countywide results. Slocum and Masur were the top vote getters in both, creating the need for the November runoff, followed by five other opponents.
Masur could be reached for comment on the outcome but, during the campaign, also supported the county measure to change the election process.
Until November, San Mateo County was the only California county that elected its supervisors at-large although each must live in the district they represent. County voters twice defeated earlier measures to change the system.
During the campaign for Measure B, the charter amendment, supporters of the change argued that all voters should be able to weigh in on elected officials who represent every resident. Opponents said the status quo favors incumbents and causes a fundraising burden for candidates who must throw their net wider for money and votes. A pending lawsuit filed by six residents in April 2011 against the county seeking to change the method also contended the process was unfair to minorities.
Some also argued the countywide process is unfair because a candidate could theoretically secure his or her district but lose because countywide voters supported somebody else. This last happened during the special May 2011 election when now-Supervisor Dave Pine lost his district to opponent Gina Papan but won the District One seat because of overall totals.
On Tuesday, Mark Church, chief elections officer and assessor-county clerk-recorder, officially certified the Nov. 6 results following a mandated 1 percent manual tally to confirm the outcomes. Voter turnout was officially 79.83 percent which is the highest since 1992, Church said.
Of those, 165,877 of the 288,592 ballots cast were absentee and 119,212 were at polling locations.
A full copy of all the election results, including breakdowns by precincts and districts, is available at www.shapethefuture.org.
Michelle Durand can be reached by email: email@example.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.