In a season of close local elections, the race for a seat on the Rancho Cordova City Council outdid them all.
With the results finalized Friday, just three votes separated a pair of candidates seeking the third seat on the council. Sacramento City Unified School District board member Donald Terry prevailed over high school coach Brian Danzl for the seat.
Terry collected 7,783 votes to Danzl's 7,780. David Sander and Robert McGarvey claimed the other two spots.
"If three people had stayed home and didn't show up to vote, I wouldn't be here," Terry said. "It just shows that you have to wait until every vote comes in."
Danzl wasn't quite ready to concede.
"At this time, I'm speaking with my political consultant," he said. "I'm not ready to say it's over until I get a letter from the county (stating that the count is final)."
Danzl has five days to notify county elections officials if he intends to request and pay for a recount. That process could cost as much as $10,000 a day and take several days.
Two close races were also finally settled in the city of Sacramento.
Biotech manager Steve Hansen became the city's first openly gay council member with his victory in District 4, the seat representing the Central City, Land Park and part of South Natomas.
Hansen defeated architect Joe Yee by 173 votes in a district where more than 26,000 ballots were cast.
Reached by telephone from a Long Beach conference for the Victory Fund which helps gay and lesbian political candidates get elected Hansen said becoming the city's first gay councilman represented "a moment whose time has come."
"The friendship and support I've gotten from the LGBT community has really humbled me," said Hansen.
In northern Sacramento, developer Allen Warren defeated Rob Kerth, the area's former councilman, 50.7 percent to 49 percent. Kerth led Warren through most of the updates last month, but was overtaken once officials began counting provisional ballots.
Warren, a native of Del Paso Heights, becomes the first council member from that challenged neighborhood in at least 20 years. The area has struggled with crime and foreclosures, but has also had historically low voter turnout rates.
"It's a huge accomplishment for the people from that area because clearly they showed up to vote and that says something," Warren said. "This district was worthy of a strong, competitive political process because this community needs a lot of things."