Local Election

Newly-elected Merced official won by just 6 votes. But he won. And he’s ready to work

Merced City Council District 6 candidate, Delray Shelton, greets guests during his campaign kickoff party at the Mansion House in Merced, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. Shelton is a Sgt. with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
Merced City Council District 6 candidate, Delray Shelton, greets guests during his campaign kickoff party at the Mansion House in Merced, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. Shelton is a Sgt. with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office. akuhn@mercedsun-star.com

Merced City Council candidate Delray Shelton declared victory Tuesday in his bid for District 6.

The city’s northernmost district saw a very close race ultimately decided by six votes by the time the election was certified Sunday, according to the Merced County Registrar of Voters Office.

A Merced County Sheriff’s sergeant, Shelton’s campaign tallied 2,008 votes to the 2,002 garnered by John Bliss, a Buhach Colony High teacher. Shelton said he is out of the country traveling with family this week.

“Amazing things for Merced are yet to be. This community has so much to look forward to and should be jazzed about it,” Shelton said in an email. “A substantial amount of work has been done to increase the quality of life on all accords within our community to date. I pledge to capitalize on the foundation that has been created and will further the work.”

Shelton thanked the voters as well as his opponent, who he called “a kind man of great manners and integrity.”

The councilperson-elect said he would first be a student of the City Council to better serve the people of Merced. “In addition, I’d like to start work in the areas of homelessness, youth programming and building industry,” he said.

Bliss has not returned requests for comment this week. He has until the end of business on Friday to request a recount, though Bliss’ campaign would possibly have to pick up the bill, the registrar has said.

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