The city of Elk Grove moved closer to a costly special election after the City Council on Wednesday night failed to break a deadlock on who should fill the council's District 4 vacancy.
The council has one more opportunity, at its meeting Jan. 23, to overcome the series of tie votes and name one of six candidates to replace former Councilman Gary Davis, who was elected mayor.
The council is required to act within 60 days of the vacancy, which occurred early December when Davis was sworn in as mayor.
That means if the council can't decide on Jan. 23 who should fill the vacancy, it faces the likelihood of a special election at a cost to taxpayers of up to $545,000.
Of the six candidates questioned by the council Wednesday night, two emerged as favorites.
Nine members of the public urged the council to name Nancy De Anda Chaires to the position. Chaires, an Elk Grove planning commissioner and special programs consultant on migrant education for the state Department of Education, was the first to be nominated for the post and drew staunch support from Mayor Gary Davis and Councilman Jim Cooper.
But she drew "no" votes from Councilmen Pat Hume and Steve Detrick, both of whom supported Oscar Portillo O'con, who operates a marketing and public relations business and is president of the Elk Grove Rotary.
O'con, who has a background in the military and law enforcement, was nominated next. That vote also was split 2-2, with Davis and Cooper opposed.
Two more candidates were nominated in separate motions, also with split votes.