SAN DIEGO -- High-tech entrepreneur Barbara Bry was just shy Wednesday of the number of votes needed to claim a seat on the San Diego City Council, meaning she will likely have to compete in a November runoff election.
In all, five seats on the nine-member panel were up for grabs in Tuesday's election. Candidates who received a majority of the votes won outright. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters advanced to a runoff in November.
With all precincts counted but 285,000 mail-in and provisional ballots that might affect the outcome left to be tallied, Bry was less than 1 percent away from what she needed to win the seat outright. Bry will likely face the second place competitor, businessman Ray Ellis, in the November runoff.
Bruce Lightner, husband of Sherri Lightner, placed third in the race, followed by council staffer Kyle Heiskala and Louis Rodolico.
The race for District 1 -- which represents Carmel Valley, La Jolla and University City -- will determine the balance of power on the technically nonpartisan panel.
Democrats cling to a 5-4 majority, which would be maintained with a Bry victory. Lightner, the council president, is being termed out after eight years.
Chris Ward likely won the race to succeed termed-out Councilman Todd Gloria in District 3, which represents downtown, Hillcrest and North Park. Ward is the chief of staff for Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego.
"Over the last 12 months, we've talked a lot about making sure that we're prioritizing neighborhood infrastructure first, working on open government issues and certainly homelessness, in this district, there's a lot of impact in neighborhoods," Ward told KUSI. "People want new leadership, new ideas to be able to solve that and turn that around."
In other City Council races, incumbents Mark Kersey and Scott Sherman coasted to reelection.
In District 5 -- Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos and Scripps Ranch -- Kersey bested Fotios "Frank" Tsimboukakis and Keith Mikas.
In District 7 -- Linda Vista, Mission Valley and San Carlos -- Sherman easily defeated Justin DeCesare and Jose Caballero.
In District 9, where Councilwoman Marti Emerald chose not to run for reelection, her staffer Ricardo Flores won a spot on the general election ballot, as did Georgette Gomez. The eventual winner will represent most of City Heights, the College Area and Southcrest.