Justin Cummings (left) and Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson at a Lookout candidate forum in October.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Cummings’ slo-mo victory, downtown stabbing death and SUESD opinion

Hello, friends and neighbors. It is Tuesday, Nov. 22, and a partly cloudy day is ahead, with highs around Santa Cruz County in the 60s and low 70s.

If you want to dive right in, I won’t stop you.
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First up is local politics, as Christopher Neely breaks down how Justin Cummings won the race for District 3 Santa Cruz County Supervisor. It’s a matter of when progressives vote, local observers say.

Cummings declared victory after Monday’s ballot-count update showed him with a 543-vote lead over Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, who conceded in a social media post. Read along for more on that race and to find the latest voting numbers from all 40 Santa Cruz County races.

Santa Cruz police are investigating the downtown stabbing death early Monday of a former Benchlands resident — which, Max Chun reports, is raising more concerns about the city clearing the homeless encampment along the San Lorenzo River.

And in our Community Voices opinion section, Capitola parent Chris Amsden weighs in on what he sees as “unfair practices and misinformation” by Soquel Union Elementary School District board candidate Phil Rodriguez, who resigned from the board in September but looks headed for another term after his name remained on the ballot.

Don’t forget to weigh in here on a name change for Cabrillo College; otherwise, let’s get to the Tuesday headlines.

A progressive won the District 3 supervisor race after trailing for nearly two weeks. How?

Justin Cummings at local SEIU headquarters on election night.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Justin Cummings trailed Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson by nearly 5 percentage points after Election Day. More than a week later, he pulled ahead, giving credence to the local axiom that Santa Cruz progressives just vote later. Christopher Neely breaks it down.

TRICIA WEBBER Q&A: Santa Cruz is still counting ballots. What’s taking so long? (Lookout)

‘He was really gentle and loving’: Former Benchlands resident stabbed to death in downtown Santa Cruz

The victim, Neoklis "Nick the Greek" Koumides.
(Via Keith McHenry)

A man was stabbed and killed in downtown Santa Cruz in the early hours of Monday morning. Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry knew the man as Neoklis Koumides, or “Nick the Greek.” Police were searching for the suspect. Get the details from Max Chun.

RELATED: With Benchlands clearing complete, Santa Cruz aims for spring park reopening (Lookout)

You’re all teed up for this pre-Thanksgiving Tuesday. Also teed up is another Lily Belli on Food newsletter, which will arrive hot out of the oven in mere hours. Sign up here to get that and all of Lookout’s newsletters delivered directly to you, plus breaking news alerts. I’d also suggest you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs on everything going on around Santa Cruz County.

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Enjoy what’s shaping up to be quite a pleasant Tuesday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz