San Gabriel voters turned out to elect a new City Council Tuesday, marking the first test of a consolidated election in which the County conducts day-of-election operations for San Gabriel.
In results that will remain preliminary until final provisional and vote-by-mail ballots are counted, incumbent Jason Pu led the field with 18.3 percent of the vote. The second, third and fourth place candidates finished less than one percentage point apart, with former Council Member Mario Delatorre capturing 17.1 percent, incumbent Chin Ho Liao capturing 16.6 percent, and challenger Denise Menchaca garnering 16.2 percent.
Council Member Kevin Sawkins, who announced his intention to not seek re-election for his Council position, was elected handily by voters to the City Treasurer seat.
In preliminary returns for the City Clerk race, Thu 'Julie' Nguyen took the lead late in the evening with 41 percent of the vote, narrowly outpacing attorney Florencia Albert (37 percent) and community leader Mary Acuña Garcia (22 percent).
The 2017 election offered one of the largest candidate fields in recent San Gabriel history, with seven candidates running for City Council, three for City Clerk, and one for City Treasurer.
Election results began trickling in last night at approximately 8:30 p.m. when the vote-by-mail ballots were counted. The last of seven precincts (six precincts plus vote by mail) posted results at approximately 12:15 a.m. Counting was conducted at the Los Angeles County facility in Norwalk.
Estimated voter turnout was not available as of early this morning. That figure will be critical because under recent changes in State law, cities that do not secure voter turnouts of 25 percent or greater will be required to consolidate their elections with Los Angeles County starting in 2022. The City Clerk Department mounted a multi-lingual, three-month multi-media campaign to encourage voter turnout under the slogan, "Vote Local."
Final election results will be certified only after the County completes its review of polling results and reports from its personnel. Chief City Clerk Gloria Molleda reports that the City currently expects to certify results on Tuesday, April 4, at which time the new City Council, Clerk and Treasurer will be sworn in.
For full returns, check out the results at http://lavote.net/election-results#year=2017&election=3577.