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Andrew Butt has eight-vote lead in Richmond’s tightest City Council race

RICHMOND — In the tightest Richmond election race,  Andrew  Butt has an eight-vote lead over Cesar Zepeda for the City Council District 2 seat according to results released Friday by Contra Costa County officials.

Butt had garnered 1,903 votes, or 50.11 percent to Zepeda’s 1,895 votes, or 48.89 percent.

It was not clear how many other votes are to be counted.

Butt, the current mayor’s son, has led throughout the ballot counting but his margin has continued to shrink.

The District 2 area has had hot debates often placing natural open spaces, commercial industries and residential development at odds.

Butt has argued he wants to disrupt the Richmond Progressive Alliance’s vision for the city and preserve Richmond’s physical and cultural past. He has touted his past experience as an architect, planning commissioner, city Design Review Board member and president of the Point Richmond Business Association.

Zepeda is not an RPA member but agrees with many of the coalition’s goals to increase affordable housing, prioritize fiscal responsibility and preserve open spaces. He campaigned on his ability to balance diverse perspectives and bring people together, after working within the West County Wastewater District, several Hilltop District neighborhood associations, the Contra Costa Community College Foundation and the GRIP homeless resource center.

The other city races have wider margins between opponents according to the results so far.

In the race for mayor, Eduardo Martinez has 10,199 votes or 39.16 percent. Shawn Dunning has 7,593 votes or 29.16 percent and Nathaniel “Nat” Bates has 7,251 votes or 27.84 percent.

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