Emerging victorious from his city’s primary nominating election on April 10, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia could have savored his big win for a second term for a little longer. Instead, he was back the next day at his office at City Hall, ready to do more work.
“I’m excited about the future of our city,” Garcia said in an interview with the Signal Tribune Wednesday. Garcia said he would continue to work hard to move Long Beach in a positive direction. “We’re on to something great,” he said, “and there’s a lot of work to do.”
Garcia easily won the mayoral race, capturing 26,510 votes, or 78.99 percent of the vote. James Henry “Henk” Conn, the only other mayoral candidate on the ballot, finished the race with 7,053 votes, or 21.01 percent.
Garcia added that he will be announcing a new plan to address the homeless problem in Long Beach. Details of the new program will be released next week.
“There’s a lot more we can do, and it’s about engaging the entire city,” Garcia said, adding that he plans to further involve the City’s educational and healthcare partners. “It’s about expanding and reforming programs that could be working better and by bringing in new resources.”
In the city council races for the odd-numbered districts in Long Beach, incumbent candidates performed well. However, only two out of the four councilmembers seeking another term seem to have drawn enough votes to avoid a runoff election in June– Suzie Price, who represents the 3rd District, and Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, who represents the 9th District. Since the city clerk’s office has not yet certified the election tallies, these results are unofficial, and run-off expectations may change.
Councilmembers Stacy Mungo and Roberto Uranga, who represent the 5th and 7th Districts respectively, will likely head into a run-off election on June 5. Neither captured a majority of the vote for their district, according to the latest available election results.
Third District Councilmember Price won 6,229 votes, or 78.59 percent. Gordana Kajer won 999 votes, or 12.6 percent. Robert D. “Rob” Savin drew 698 votes, or 8.81 percent.
Fifth District Councilmember Mungo won 3,840 votes, or 48.53 percent. Rich Dines will likely face Mungo in the run-off election in June since he finished in second place, earning 2,354 votes, or 29.75 percent. Corliss Lee came in third place, winning 1,401 votes, or 17.71 percent. John W. Osborn II finished last, earning 317 votes, or 4.01 percent.
Seventh District Councilmember Uranga won 2,318 votes, or 47.87 percent. In the June run-off election, Uranga will be expected to face Jared Milrad, who won 1,544 votes, or 31.89 percent. Kevin Shin finished in third place, earning 769 votes, or 15.88 percent. Oscar Delacruz finished in fourth place, winning 160 votes, or 3.3 percent. Chris Sereno finished last, winning only 51 votes, or 1.05 percent.
Ninth District Councilmember and Vice Mayor Rex Richardson finished election night with 1,600 votes, or 80 percent. His challenger Mineo Gonzalez won only 400 votes, or 20 percent.
In the Long Beach Community College District, there will be a new board representative for Trustee Area I. Uduak-Joe Ntuk won 3,386 votes, or 56.28 percent. Ntuk defeated incumbent trustee Jeffrey Kellogg, who earned only 2,630 votes, or 43.72 percent.
In the Long Beach Unified School District, the race for the District 3 representative of the board will likely be decided in a run-off election between Juan Benitez and Cesar Armendariz. Benitez won 1,797 votes, or 46.72 percent. Armendariz won 1,278 votes, or 33.23 percent. Eduardo Lara finished last, earning 771 votes, or 20.05 percent.
The Long Beach city clerk will officially certify the results on April 17. The tallies noted in this story are unofficial and represent the latest available figures from April 11. If a candidate fails to win a majority of the vote, the candidates with the two highest votes will face each other in a run-off election on June 5.