Municipalities big and small put new and familiar faces into City Hall suites.
In East County, La Mesa's Art Madrid appeared to be holding onto his office, leading challenger Laura Lothian 52 percent to 48 percent. Not far away in El Cajon in a hotly contested race, Mark Lewis was holding on to a lead with 41 percent of the vote, trailed by Todd Moore (33 percent), John Garcia, with 17 percent, Darrin Mroz, who had 6 percent of the ballots and Johnney Minarick, in last with 3 percent of the 45 reported precincts. A runoff there seems likely.
In Carlsbad, Matt Hall, with 48 percent of the votes cast and 20 percent of precincts reporting, held a slim lead over challenger Keith Blackburn (40 percent), Glenn Bernard (9 percent) and Walt Meier (3 percent). Next door in Escondido, Sam Abed looked to be headed for a runoff, too, holding on to 37 percent of the vote to Dick Daniels' 32 percent, and Tom Agosta's 24 percent and Joe Bologna, who garnered 6 percent of the vote. To the east in San Marcos, Jim Desmond, who ran unopposed, had 100 percent of the 1,091 votes cast in the first 35 precincts that reported. Over in Vista, Judy Ritter seemed headed for victory, with 59 percent of the votes cast in the first 39 percent of reported precincts. She was trailed by Chuck Rabel (29 percent) and Patrick Uhuri, who pulled in 11 percent of the ballots cast.
Farther south in Poway, Don Higginson appeared to have vanquished R.W. Stavros, leading his challenger 56 percent to 44 percent, with 13 percent of precincts in.
Down in Imperial Beach, Jim Janney held nearly half of the vote at 11 p.m. His 49 percent of the 18 precincts reporting gave him a large lead over Jennifer Welsh (22 percent), Mike Bibbey, who held 17 percent of votes cast and Jack Fisher, who trailed with 12 percent. Not far away in National City, voters cast a majority of votes (61 percent) for Ron Morrison, but Alejandar Sotelo-Solis did pick up 28 percent of the vote, and R. Mitchel Beauchamp and Darryl Gorham each netted 5 percent of the votes with 25 percent of precincts reporting.