Update: As of Friday morning, Feb. 1, the most recent District One election results posted on the Orange County Registrar of Voters website show that Joe Kalmick has received 64.5 percent of the vote and Peter Amundson has received 35.5 percent. Those results are based on 44.7 percent of the vote.
Registrar of Voters must certify results by Feb. 28
Preliminary election results show former businessman and Old Town resident Joe Kalmick leading small businessman and Surfside resident Peter Amundson in the runoff election for the Seal Beach District 1 City Council seat. Kalmick had 908 votes, or 65.2 percent of the vote, to Amundson’s 485 votes, or 34.8 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results released by the Orange County Registrar of Voters office Tuesday night.
That number of ballots counted so far represents about 40 percent of the 3,477 registered voters in the district. The runoff election was mail-in ballot only. Ballots had to be post-marked by January 29th which means there could be more ballots coming in to be counted. The election must be certified by Feb. 28, 2019, according to the Registrar.
“Though the runoff results are unofficial and there may still be a number of votes to be counted, I feel that the percentages and margin will hold,” Kalmick said in an email to the Sun. “It has been a long and sometimes trying campaign and I’m glad it has finally come to an end. I want to thank the District 1 voters for their support, whether it was placing a yard sign, contributing to our campaign, canvassing, or just a recommendation to their friends and neighbors. However, I will be working for all of our District 1 residents, as well as all of the citizens of Seal Beach. I also look forward to working with the other Council members and our City staff to deal with the many challenges that we face in the years ahead.”
In a text message to the Sun Tuesday, Amundson said he did not have any comment at this time, but in an email earlier this week he wrote, “Win or lose, I will be staying involved.”
The District 1 seat covers Old Town and Surfside and is being vacated by Councilwoman Ellery Deaton who is termed out.
The registrar will continue to tally ballots and post updates at: https://www.ocvote.com/fileadmin/live/2019sbea/results.htm
The runoff race was marked by negative mailers and social media ads targeting Kalmick. The ads arrived in voters’ mailboxes earlier this month. The group, the California Taxpayer Protection Committee, based outside Sacramento, sponsored the attack ads, spending more than $7,400 on them.
The ads focused on a visit Kalmick had to the City Clerk’s counter at City Hall in July of last year and accused him of threatening Deputy City Clerk Dana Engstrom. Surveillance video of the incident, which has no audio, is inconclusive. It shows Councilwoman Deaton present for the incident. A police report shows the case was closed and Engstrom saying she did not feel threatened by Kalmick but was “somewhat concerned” by his actions. The matter was not referred to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, according to spokespersons for both the DA and the Seal Beach Police.
Many voters took to social media and contacted the Sun to express outrage at the negative ads, which used portions of a previous Sun story lifted out of context. Some residents were upset that an outside political group got involved in a local race. Kalmick called the ads “dirty politics.” Amundson denied having anything to do with them and noted coordinating with the group behind the ads would be against campaign finance laws.