As more votes are counted, it becomes increasingly likely that Mike Leonard, Chris Bentley, Richard Hall and Doug Shumway can start thinking about their victory celebrations.


The votes from less than half of all Hesperia precincts have been counted by the San Bernardino County Registrar of voters as of 5:54 a.m., but the front-runners in the local races are continuing to hold onto their leads as the additional votes counted just confirm the early picture.


Mayor Leonard and Planning Commissioner Paul Bosacki command 26 and 24 percent of the Hesperia City Council votes between them. Trailing them, at 16 percent each, are Russ Blewett and Mark Kirk, separated by a mere 15 votes.


In the Hesperia Unified School Board District school board race, Bentley and Lindsay hold 25 and 20 percent of the votes, down from the 27 and 21 percent leads they earlier commanded. Anthony Riley, in third, is only 46 votes behind Lindsay. But the odds remain long for Eric Swanson and Frank Rich, who command only 14 and 11 percent of the vote.


In the Mojave Water Agency board of directors race, incumbent Richard Hall's position looks secure, with 50 percent of the counted vote belonging to him in the Division 3 race, with his primary challenger, Brian Pierce, commanding 33 percent of the votes.


In Division 7, it appears that challenger Doug Shumway has taken the seat from incumbent Dick Fortyune, with each man winning 72 and 27 percent of the vote, respectively.


But the votes from more than half of the precincts remain to be counted -- votes have been counted from 19 out of 40 in the city council race, 26 out of 60 in the school board race, 27 out of 44 in the MWA division 3 race and 14 out of 31 in the MWA division 7 face -- and with voter turnout likely to set a record, the results could potentially still change, especially in the school board race.


The next set of election results is expected to be released at noon by the registrar of voters.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.