Manh Nguyen held a lead over Tim Orozco late Tuesday in a special election for a vacant seat on the San Jose City Council, according to unofficial semi-final results posted by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.
With an estimated 80 percent of ballots counted, Nguyen had 56.7 percent of the vote, with Orozco garnering 43.2 percent of the vote.
The registrar is scheduled to provide an update on results by 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Both candidates are vying for the council's District 4 seat vacated by former Councilman Kansen Chu, who was elected last November to the state Assembly.
Margie Matthews is a former city councilmember who once represented District 4 and has filled Chu's seat until a successor is named.
District 4 spans through North San Jose, including the Berryessa and Alviso neighborhoods.
Orozco, an aide to state Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, and Nguyen, a publisher for a daily Vietnamese language newspaper, were the top two finishers in a special election held in April.
Orozco finished first with 22 percent, or 2,243 votes, and Nguyen came in second with 19.1 percent, or 1,947 votes, in a race that had 10 candidates, according to county election officials.
No candidates in the April 7 race received more than 50 percent of votes, prompting Tuesday's runoff election.
According to campaign finance reports, Nguyen, who did not agree to the city's spending limit, has received $379,300 in contributions, which includes more than $250,000 in non-monetary contributions for advertising on a radio program and a newspaper he owns.
Orozco has received $87,235 in contributions, according to campaign finance reports.
The results of Tuesday's special election are expected to be certified on June 30.
Out of 40,786 registered voters in District 4, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters late last month sent out 29,405 vote-by-mail ballots, 7,484 of which have returned, county election officials said.
Any ballots mailed back must be postmarked before or on Tuesday, election officials said.
Vote-by-mail ballots can also be turned in at the registrar's office, any county polling place or designated ballot drop-off site by 8 p.m. Tuesday. A list of the locations can be found at http://www.sccgov.org/sites/rov/VBM/Pages/ReturningMail.aspx.