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Measure CR still behind after Friday ballot count

After a Friday afternoon update, Measure CR is still behind by 135 votes.

The new numbers, which were updated around 3:45 p.m., show 3,988 (50.86 percent) Claremonters voting no and 3,853 (49.14 percent) of Claremonters voting yes.

The new totals include 1,593 Claremont ballots that have been counted since Election Day.

Laura Roach of the Yes on CR campaign did not officially concede, but offered a gloomy outlook for the Yes side.

“We are obviously discouraged,” she told the COURIER in a phone call. “I think the gap is wide enough now, with so little votes remaining, that we’re probably not going to rebound. But we will wait until all the votes are counted.”

Ms. Roach had spent the day at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office, and said county election employees could not tell her how many votes still need to be counted in Claremont.

“I think what remains is going to be fairly small,” she said.

In a statement Friday afternoon, the registrar said there were only 600 outstanding ballots left in the county. What share of that number belongs to Claremont remains to be seen.

“We are going to wait until every last vote is counted, but I do concede it’s not looking good for us,” Ms. Roach said.

Donna Lowe of the No campaign told the COURIER she would wait to give comment until the Yes campaign concedes.

Measure CR proposed a .75 percent increase to the city’s sales tax rate, bumping it from 9.5 percent to the state cap of 10.25 percent. It would have netted $2.5 million annually, which would have been used to maintain current services, fix deferred maintenance and chip away at future budget deficits.

Opponents countered that CR was a regressive tax that would hurt local businesses and would put fixed-income and low-income residents at a disadvantage.

CR is poised to become the only sales tax increase in California to fail at the ballot box in 2019. Five cities in Los Angeles County—Irwindale, Lynwood, Monrovia, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena—all passed their measures on Tuesday.

The cities of San Bruno and Oakdale in Northern California and Parlier in Central California also passed sales tax increases on Tuesday.

Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com