Abed’s lead had been steadily declining, and when the latest count was released on Wednesday afternoon, opponent Paul “Mac” McNamara had moved into the lead by 237 votes. The day after election, Abed led McNamara by 388 votes.
An estimated 254,000 ballots remain to be counted countywide.
Abed, who is known for his outspoken views on immigration and opposition to California’s sanctuary laws, is seeking his third term as mayor.
McNamara, a Marine Corps veteran, attacked what he called “divisive” politics in Escondido in challenging Abed.
“We’ve lost businesses, become enmeshed in divisive politics, and paid tremendously for needless lawsuits,” McNamara said in his campaign literature.
Updated at 7:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 15
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