Southeast area city councils can expect new faces

By Alfredo Santana

Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES — Most of the 13 cities in Southeast Los Angeles County that conducted City Council elections Nov. 8 may be in store for new elected officials if the latest voting trends reported by the county’s Registrar-Recorder’s office stay the course.

Preliminary results released Nov. 14 indicate that Montebello voters may have picked a replacement for incumbent Mayor and First District Councilwoman Kimberly Cobos-Cawthorne, who trailed Georgina Tamayo by 92 votes. Cobos-Cawthorne had received 771 votes against 863 for Tamayo.

Incumbents Scarlet Peralta, Salvador Melendez, David Torres and Angie Jimenez were leading in their respective races in the first local election to pick council members by district instead of citywide seats.

David Matanga led Osvaldo Lira 4,434 to 2,672 votes in the city treasurer contest.

In Bell Gardens, incumbent council members Alejandra Cortez and Marco Barcena led a pack of 12 candidates vying for three at-large seats, while Lisseth Flores-Franco trailed challenger Francis De Leon Sanchez for the remaining post.

So far, Cortez has received 1,099 votes, Barcena 902 and Sanchez 829, while Flores-Franco numbered 658. A term limit measure that would limit council members to three four-year terms also appeared headed for approval with 84% of the vote.

Bellflower’s District 1 incumbent Raymond Hamada obtained 1,671 votes compared to opponent Ricardo Fosado’s 558, while Mayor Ray Dunton held a narrow lead against Juan Garza 1,207 to 1,126 in the race for District 5.

Cudahy’s three at-large council seats were led by incumbent Mayor Elizabeth Alcantar with 732 votes, along with newcomers Cynthia Gonzalez’s 561 and Martin Fuentes’ 361 votes. Incumbent Blanca Lozoya followed closely with 341 votes in a race still too close to call.

Measure BA, authorizing a 15% city tax on local cannabis sales and restricting storefronts 600 feet away from schools, churches and childcare centers appeared headed for victory with 619 votes against 550.

In Downey, Hector Sosa appeared to clinch District 2 with 2,283 votes, besting Anthony Felix who only obtained 793.

If Sosa is confirmed the winner, he will replace Donald La Plante, who was appointed to replace Sean Ashton.

Meanwhile, District 4 incumbent Claudia Frometa was headed for reelection with 3,226 votes counted, against 1,060 garnered by Joaquin Beltran.

Measure D, a proposal to increase Downey’s hotel taxes from 9% to 13%, was headed for defeat with 10,495 votes against it and 5,576 in favor.

In Lynwood, incumbent Jose Luis Solache had received 2,227 votes to clinch one of the three at-large seats at stake, while newcomer Gabriela Camacho followed in second place with 2,189 and incumbent Marisela Santana headed for reelection with 2,118.

Although Mayor Jorge Casanova registered for the Nov. 8 election, he dropped from the race after the filing period closed in August, and did not actively campaign.

The city posted on its website that Measure TR, a proposal to levy a 5% tax for retail cannabis vendors earned enough votes to pass.

Maywood’s first-time candidate Mayra Aguiluz received 854 votes, compared to incumbents Eddie De La Riva with 851 followed in third place by Heber Marquez with 789 in the race to capture the top three places.

Aguiluz will replace incumbent Ricardo Lara. For the city clerk post, Andrea Aguilar ran unopposed and won with 1,412 votes.

In Norwalk, incumbents Jennifer Perez and Tony Ayala ran successful reelection campaigns with only two seats at play, and obtained 5,548 and 5,374 votes, respectively, while Petra Peña ran a distant third.

Pico Rivera voters elected Gustavo Camacho to another four-year term with 4,815 votes, while John Garcia nabbed the second of two spots available with 3,780 votes, ahead of incumbent Raul Elias, who only received 2,760.

Measure AB, a proposal to charge businesses earning less than $25,000 in revenue $25 for a business license, and a proportional amount of that to those reporting more than $25,000 a year was approved with 75% of the cast ballots, while Measure F, which would limit council members to three four-year terms received 85% of the votes.

Measure F also allows council members to run again after they sit out for four years.

South Gate voters appeared to reelect incumbent Mayor Al Rios with 3,080 cast votes, while Joshua Barron held a sizable lead against third place Ruby Navarro for the second of two seats.

Barron had 2,748 votes against Navarro’s 1,908. For the city treasurer job, Jose De La Paz led the race against Greg Martinez and Yodit Glaze was elected to the city clerk post in an uncontested election.

Voters appear to have rejected Measure PD, which called for $500 in yearly taxes and solid waste processing fees paid by material recovery facilities, plus $1.94 per ton, in addition to increases to other business license taxes every three years based on inflation.

They cast 3,804 against Measure MD, and 3,433 in support.

In Monterey Park’s District 1 contest, Thomas Wong beat Jason Dhing, while in District 5 Vihn Ngo was ahead of contender Teresa Real Sebastian.

Results for a special District 3 election indicate that Jose Sanchez is poised to beat Tammy Wong with 1,015 votes in his favor against 630 for Wong.

The Santa Fe Springs election for three at-large council seats included six candidates, with incumbent Juanita Martin, Annette Rodriguez and Bill Rounds ending in the top positions.

Martin earned 1,488 votes to clinch reelection, Rodriguez racked in 1,473 and Rounds captured 1,442.

And in Alhambra, all three incumbents ran successful reelection bids to win new four-year terms.

District 1 Councilwoman Katherine Lee raced to victory against the challenge of Stephen Sham and Ari Gutierrez Arambula. Councilman Ross Maza easily won reelection after running unopposed in District 2, and Councilwoman Adele Andrade Stadler beat her opponent Jeffrey Gomez.

The county’s Registrar-Recorder and Clerk office is scheduled to certify final election results Dec. 5.