Update, 8 a.m. Wednesday: They won't need a run-off in the County Supervisor District 2 race.
Santa Cruz police analyst Zach Friend netted 57.17 percent of the vote, besting four other candidates. By walking off with more than half of the 8,915 votes cast, Friend eliminated the need for the seat to be decided between the top two vote-getters in the November election.
Friend had 5,097 votes. Daniel Beckett was second with 1,827; Antonio Rivas has 764; Douglas Deitch had 626 and Rich McInnis garnered 537.
Friend said, once in office, his priorities will be infrastructure, public safety and the preservation of park and farm lands. But he won't immediately jump into the fray.
"In the beginning, if I'm elected, I'm going to spend time listening," he said in an interview before the final vote tally was announced.
Original story, 11:30 p.m. Tuesday: Santa Cruz police analyst had an early lead in the race for Santa Cruz County Supervisor District 2, though few votes had been counted late Tuesday night.
With just mail-in ballots tallied, Friend had nearly 59 percent of the vote. had almost 18 percent and former Watsonville Mayor Antonio Rivas had 9 percent. Two other candidates combined for 13 percent of the vote.
Less than 30,000 ballots had been counted county-wide.
District 2 encompasses Capitola, Aptos, La Selva Beach, Corralitos and the western portion of Watsonville. Current District 2 Supervisor Ellen Pirie chose not to run for re-election.
One candidate must win 50 percent of the total vote, or the race will go to a run-off election in November between the top-two vote-getters.
"I'm confident that regardless of what happens tonight, I'll end up on top," Friend said.
On Election Night, Friend gathered with supporters at Bittersweet Bistro in Rio Del Mar, where a projection screen showed the slow tally of ballots.
"We're proud of the campaign we ran," Friend said. "We built bridges."
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