Norwalk incumbents hold on to council seats

Norwalk mayor Cheri Kelley and incumbent Mike Mendez held on to their city council seats Tuesday, holding off challengers Enrique Aranda and Darryl Adams, according to unofficial election results. Mendez, who was first elected to the council in 1988, collected 1,689 votes.

Kelley was not far behind with 1,680 ballots cast in her favor.

This year's election featured two open seats on the city council and pitted the experience of Mendez and Kelley - who have a combined 41 years on the council - versus the exuberance of Aranda, Adams and Candy Martinez.

Aranda, marketing director for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, finished third in voting, only 65 votes behind Kelley.

Adams, a teacher and school board member with the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, was fourth with 1,354 votes.

"I would like to thank all my supporters, family members and friends for this campaign," Adams said in a statement. "As I tell my students: 'failure is an event, not a person.' This council race did not end as we would have hoped, but it is not an indication of the character or confidence of the people behind it, nor of the passion of them. Congrats to Mike Mendez and Cheri Kelley on being re-elected."

Small business owner Candy Martinez collected 764 votes.

Bryan Mesinas-Perez, who appeared on the ballot but dropped out of the race several months ago, pulled in 274 votes.