AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“This has been a very, very close race,” Dantona said. “It’s been a knock-down, drag-out fight, neck and neck the whole way. Nobody should have to wait this long to see their vote counted.” Foy said the delay was caused by more people casting absentee ballots, a trend he expects to continue, and said the county’s election officials are doing a good job with the resources they have, making sure the count is accurate and legal. Foy said he based his assumption of victory on his support from absentee ballots in the primary election and the runoff Nov. 7. “We know that during the last absentee ballot counts, we’ve always gone ahead,” he said. “So we’re confident. It would be almost impossible for Dantona to overcome our lead.” He said he will meet with county officials Monday to get information about the 4th District’s budget, setting up a county office and hiring a staff. SIMI VALLEY – Although thousands of late Ventura County ballots remain to be counted, Peter Foy was far enough ahead Friday to predict victory and say he will begin work Monday to set up his new office to represent the Board of Supervisors’ 4th District. But his opponent, Jim Dantona, said the race to represent the Simi Valley-Moorpark area is still too close to call and he would not concede, even though he now trails by 700 votes. “The odds are tough, but you don’t walk off the field until after the third out in the ninth inning,” he said Friday. Dantona predicted that the remaining provisional ballots would tend to favor him and said he expected support from late absentee ballots as well. Dantona was about 300 votes ahead of Foy on Nov. 8, when election officials said there were about 71,000 still-uncounted ballots countywide, including about 16,000 in the 4th District. Foy has been correct in predicting that the absentee ballots would tend to favor him, and by Friday morning he had moved up to more than 700 votes ahead of Dantona. But Gene Browning, the county’s assistant registrar of voters, said thousands of ballots still remained to be counted, including about 9,000 absentees and 5,200 provisionals that people cast when they were not on the roster of voters at the polling places. Browning wasn’t making any predictions, estimating there could be about 2,000 absentee and 1,000 provisional ballots left to be counted in the 4th District race. The complete results should finally be determined by the election certification deadline of Dec. 5, he said. Some of the ballots had to be very carefully checked, including one on which a voter had apparently spilled his breakfast. County officials could not explain why so many voters cast late absentee ballots, guessing it might have had something to do with the ballot’s length and complication. The 4th District race has been one of Ventura County’s most controversial. The district is one of the county’s most heavily Republican areas, with registration of about 47 percent compared with Democratic registration of about 30 percent. Although the race is nonpartisan, many voters were aware of the candidates’ political affiliations. Yet Dantona, a Democrat, was able to wage a tough campaign, first against 12-year Republican incumbent Judy Mikels, then in the neck-and-neck runoff with Foy, also a Republican. “I got a great deal of the Republican votes,” Dantona said. “When I went into this race, they said Judy Mikels couldn’t be beat. I knocked her out of this race.” Herbert Gooch, a professor of political science at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, said even if Dantona doesn’t win, he deserves credit for “a very aggressive, persistent campaign” against tough odds. [email protected] (805) 583-7602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!