Elliott was leading Rhodesia Ransom, 14,343 to 12,638, when the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters office released unofficial results late Tuesday night. Election results must be certified by Dec. 4.
“Right now, I’m encouraged by the initial results,” Elliott said late Tuesday night at the Kagehiro Building, 628 Central Ave., where he held an election party. “Hopefully the trend holds.”
Elliott credited his successful campaign to his team of volunteers and his campaign strategy to build a broad base of support. He wants to continue his campaign promises to support fiscal responsibility, protect agriculture and promote public safety.
“To do things that make sense for all the people,” he said. “I’m just grateful with the support with the initial (voter) returns.”
Campaign supporter Ralph Martinez said outside the Elliott party that he applauded the candidate on his “diligent campaign.”
“He’s fairly new in politics, and I think he brought a lot of value (to the campaign). I saw his signs all around — name recognition was huge.”
During his first six months on the job, Elliott said he expected there would be a learning curve as he reviewed existing county programs.
“The supervisors are doing a good job,” he said. “I’m not planning any sweeping changes.”
Elliott has served only two of his four years on the Tracy City Council, to which he was elected in 2010 with 5,650 votes.
He received criticism during the campaign for the perception that he was only using his City Council seat as a platform for higher office and that he might do the same if elected to the county level.
But Elliott said he planned to serve his full term as a supervisor and any additional terms if the voters continued to support him.
“I’m now focused on this job,” he said. “I’m focused on the county supervisor’s job. I hope these results hold true and in four years the voters still have confidence in me.”
At Ransom’s campaign party inside a small theater in the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, 715 Central Ave., the mood was somber at 9:30 p.m. until the candidate walked into the room to chants of “Rhodesia, Rhodesia.”
Ransom addressed the room of about 60 people and thanked them for their support.
“It was a long day and a really long time getting our message out to the community,” she said. “I appreciate all of you for having my back.”
As the election results trickled in, Ransom said she never lost faith that she could still win the election.
“I’m still hopeful, maybe naively so,” she said just after 9:30 p.m. “I hope people saw the substance my campaign brought to the table. It’s still early — going to the wire.”
Ransom said that even if she ended up losing the election, Nov. 6 would not be the last time voters would see her name on the ballot under “Board of Supervisors.”
“This county needs new leadership,” she said. “Focus on the needs of the community. I’m proud of the campaign we ran — a clean campaign. I’ve learned so much this first time running. I learned you get to see the true side of people. I would run for the county supervisor’s position again.”
Ransom’s supporters also voiced their optimism early in the evening.
“Way too close to call,” said Andrea Colavita Pinkham, a political organizer for Service Employees International Union. “We feel she best represents her values. She’s a very hardworking candidate.”
The open seat on the board was vacated by Leroy Ornellas, who had reached his term limit of two terms this year.
The 5th District represents Tracy, Mountain House and parts of Manteca.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.