It's taken an additional two weeks of counting, but it looks like Ramona attorney Gary Kreep has won a seat on the San Diego Superior Court bench.
After the latest vote totals were released Tuesday by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Kreep leads deputy district attorney Garland Peed by 1,569 votes with only 1,000 absentee votes left to be counted.
"I feel very blessed by God and grateful to Jim Sills, who was my adviser on the campaign," Kreep said.
Sills, a longtime Republican political consultant, died June 14.
"It makes (the victory) very bittersweet," Kreep said. "I'm sure he's looking down from heaven smiling."
Kreep has received 203,302 votes (50.19 percent) for Superior Court Office No. 34 while Peed has received 201,733 votes (49.81 percent).
The vote will be certified on July 3.
The Daily Transcript left a message with the Peed campaign to see if he will ask for a recount. A recount would have to be paid for by the challenging party.
When voting ended on election night June 5, Kreep held a slim 56-vote edge, but when the remaining absentee ballots started to get counted, Peed pulled out to a near 1,100-vote advantage by June 8.
Kreep has gained votes on Peed every day since then, and now appears to have an insurmountable lead.
"First, it was God; second, it was the help and advice and leadership of Jim Sills; and thirdly, I didn't give up," Kreep said. "A lot of people rallied around me. I've been in San Diego since 1968, and I've helped a lot of people with pro bono work."
The constitutional law attorney also said he was helped by a wave of anti-establishment feeling from the electorate.
He dismisses critics who think he will push an agenda from the bench.
"In my position as judge, I'll be enforcing the U.S. Constitution first, the California Constitution second, and the laws of California third," he said. "I'm going to be the best judge I can be."