WATSONVILLE — Early results show Greg Caput headed to his third term as the Fourth District Santa Cruz County Supervisor, but “thousands” of ballots are still left to be counted, according to the Santa Cruz County Elections Department.
In the latest numbers released Wednesday at about 4 p.m., Caput leads challenger Jimmy Dutra with 54.91 percent of the vote. The two are 553 votes apart.
Caput said Wednesday that he is “very cautious” about the results, but mentioned he feels he will maintain his lead.
“I’m very grateful for the voters re-electing me to another term,” he said. “I do realize that there were a lot of candidates that ran against me. My hat goes off to all of them, including Jimmy Dutra in the runoff.”
Caput was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2010, and completed a successful re-election bid in 2014.
He attended local schools, and graduated from Watsonville High School, Cabrillo College and Santa Clara University. He earned a law degree and served as an officer in the National Guard and Army Reserve.
Caput added that he is ready to take on the issues that await him in his possible third term, namely the Pajaro River levee project, and to help get a mental health services center off the ground in Watsonville.
“I do have to represent the people that voted for me, and those that didn’t vote for me,” he said. “They will all be treated the same. I don’t do favors, I just do my job.”
Dutra currently sits on the Watsonville City Council, a post he was elected to in 2014. He graduated from Watsonville High School and Santa Clara University, and earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy.
With more than 55,000 ballots still left to count throughout the county, Dutra said the race is still too early to call.
“I’m really proud of our campaign and all of our volunteers, and I’m thankful for the civic engagement that is happening in our community,” he said. “We are not sure how many votes are left in South County, however it’s most likely going to be 5,000 or more.”