Yes, it is early and these are only counts from absentee ballots. But this is not like the days of old when early mail-in ballots represented a small percentage of the vote. So far, the county has counted just shy of 87,000 ballots, 35 percent of the total number of registered voters in the county. If County Clerk Janice Atkinson is right about her projection of a 75 percent turnout, then half of the ballots have already been counted.

So some quick observations about those results:

David Rabbitt is out to a fast start, leading Petaluma Mayor Pam Torliatt with 57.1 percent to 42.5 percent. Will he slow down? 

Just 110 votes separate Jeff Mayne and David Glass in the race for mayor of Petaluma. Meanwhile, it’s a wide open race for Petaluma council, where votes are so divided someone could win with 13 percent of the vote. The race features nine candidates for three seats. Only incumbent Mike Harris holds a healthy lead with 20 percent of the vote.

In Santa Rosa, Mayor Susan Gorin has a healthy lead as well while newcomers Jake Ours and Scott Bartley are running two and three followed closely by Veronica Jacobi and Larry Haenel. It won’t take many votes to see significant changes in that lineup. But as expected, it looks like it will be a close race for those five.

– Paul Gullixson