By Eric Pierce and Alex Dominguez
DOWNEY -- Blanca Pacheco and Rick Rodriguez cruised to victory Tuesday night, earning spots on the Downey City Council along with newly-elected Mayor Alex Saab.
Both Pacheco (District 1) and Rodriguez (District 3) took early leads after polling closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday evening. The now newly-elected candidates maintained and increased on their leads throughout the night.
With all precincts reporting, Pacheco collected 2,424 votes, nearly double that of her closest competitor, Alma Marquez, who tallied 1,248 votes. Planning commissioner Hector Lujan received 1,142 votes.
Lujan was gracious in defeat.
"I met many new friends on this quest, and I don't regret running for city council," he said. "I congratulate all of the winners and hope that they will continue to help our community to move forward. God bless everyone."
Rodriguez (District 3) finished with 2,698 ballots cast in his favor, ahead of closest competitor Frine Medrano, who collected 1,789 votes. Rounding out the order was Louis Morales and Art Montoya.
Mayor Saab (District 5) took a commanding lead early on and cruised to victory, taking over 81 percent of the votes for his city-wide district.
Saab also seemed poised to make history once again by breaking the record for number of votes cast for one candidate; a record he’s already broken once before.
Downey’s controversial Measure S ballot item passed with 62 percent of the vote.. The measure will increase sales tax by a half cent for the purpose of public safety, infrastructure, and parks.
DISTRICT 1 (with 13 of 13 precincts reporting):
Blanca Pacheco: 2,424
Alma Marquez: 1,248
Hector Lujan: 1,142
DISTRICT 3 (with 15 of 15 precincts reporting):
Rick Rodriguez: 2,698
Frine Medrano: 1,789
Louis Morales: 975
Art Montoya: 700
DISTRICT 5 (with 57 of 57 precincts reporting):
Alex Saab: 17,247
Art Gonzalez: 3,817
MEASURE S (with 57 of 57 precincts reporting):