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Citrus Heights Council District 5 race is now tied

A screenshot from Sacramento County’s election results website shows candidates in Citrus Heights District 5 tied for votes, as of Nov. 18, 2022.

Sentinel staff report–
The latest vote tally released Friday afternoon shows the race for the District 5 Citrus Heights City Council seat is now tied, with each candidate receiving the same number of votes.

Up until the Nov. 18 update from Sacramento County elections officials, Mayor Porsche Middleton had held a slim lead over Taste of Tuscany restaurant owner Natalee Price. That lead progressively narrowed with each recent vote update, from a 37-vote margin, down to a nine-vote margin, and now to an even split with each candidate receiving 1,523 votes apiece.

Many votes remain to be counted, although an exact number has not been released by officials. County-wide, a total of 345,837 ballots have now been counted, with the estimated amount remaining being less than 145,000, according to the Sacramento County elections website.

Price in a statement to The Sentinel Saturday afternoon said she had put significant effort into the campaign and prayed daily, saying God “definitely heard my prayers.” She said the latest results sent her “over the moon.”

“I have never seen an exact 50/50 split and am grateful the most exciting race is mine,” said Price. “I look forward to the next batch of numbers and am hoping to take the lead.”

Middleton did not respond to a request for comment by press time Saturday, but previously posted on social media that she remained optimistic her lead would hold and thanked her supporters for knocking on more than 3,000 doors.

Subsequent updates from elections officials are slated to be released each Tuesday and Friday afternoon, until all counting is completed.

As previously reported, Price and Middleton ran on opposite platforms, with Middleton highlighting work the city did while she has been on the council and Price criticizing the status quo.

Middleton, who has been a council member for four years, said in a Sentinel questionnaire that she was running for re-election “to continue moving our city forward,” noting “We have improved our roads, strengthened public safety, and supported our business community.”

Meanwhile, Price said she was running because she watched “as we lost our problem-oriented police force, our motor patrol disappeared, drug use became highly visible, hypodermic debris and litter accumulated, homelessness climbed, and both community pages and neighborhood meetings were riddled with unheard voices.”

The two also earned split endorsements from current council members, with Price being endorsed by Vice Mayor Tim Schaefer and Councilman Bret Daniels, while Middleton won endorsements from Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins and Councilman Steve Miller.

The race for District 5 also far-exceeded the other district races in fundraising, with The Sentinel reporting last week that Middleton had raised over $37,000 in contributions this year, compared with Price at just $6,700. Middleton also reported early contributions over the past two years, bringing contribution totals to her 2022 election committee to more than $78,000.

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