Incumbents Frank Ury and Cathy Schlicht have the most votes with mail-in ballots and two of 71 precincts reporting. Ury has 27.8 percent of the vote. Schlicht has 23 percent.
Challenger Wendy Bucknum is 41 votes shy of second place in the two-seat race, with 22.8 percent of the total vote tally.
Bucknum spent the evening at a post-election party with Ury, Councilman Dave Leckness and Councilwoman Trisha Kelley, among others.
Bucknum wouldn't guess who would win in the tight contest between herself and Schlicht.
"I've done all I can. Here is the support," she said, gesturing to the partygoers. "I worked really hard and that's all you can do."
"I'm just really hoping Wendy can prevail," he said. "Hopefully we out-hustled them."
Leckness has supported Bucknum and Ury, most recently by standing on street corners and greeting residents for the past four nights. He said mail-in voters might have favored Schlicht because they didn't yet meet Bucknum.
Leckness said Bucknum and her campaign crew visited "almost every house in Mission Viejo."
Schlicht refused to comment.
"I have no respect for your publication," she told Patch.
Here is the vote tally as of 8:05 p.m. Tuesday:
-Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht: 6,053 (23 percent)
-Mayor Frank Ury: 7,329 (27.8 percent)
-Wendy Bucknum: 6,012 (22.8 percent)
-Richard Coleman: 1,691 (6.4 percent)
-Desi Kiss: 1,348 (5.1 percent)
-Ed Sachs: 3,886 (14.8 percent)