The official word on whether Council District 1 candidates Gil Cedillo and Jose Gardea will have to compete in a runoff election might take a while to arrive. Former State Senator Cedillo garnered the most votes during Tuesday’s municipal election, but, according to the final but unofficial tally, fell just short of avoiding a runoff with second-place finisher Gardea and declaring victory (the unofficial results showed that 49.37% of 13,393 ballots were cast in favor of Cedillo but 50% is needed to avoid a runoff). With thousands of provisional, mail-in and damaged ballots still be analyzed and counted, there is still a chance that Cedillo might end up with the necessary 50% to win the race to replace termed-out Councilman Ed Reyes. However, it could take the City Clerk until March 26 to deliver the final and official citywide results, including those in the First Council District, according to spokeswoman Kimberly Briggs.
While the City Clerk works to come up with the final figures, Cedillo and Gardea, who works for Reyes as his chief of staff, continue to campaign away. Cedillo, whose campaign spent nearly $450,000 on the election in addition to being supported by $331,000 in expenditures from independent groups, today announced that he had won the endorsement of Jesse Rosas, who finished in third place in the three-way council election.
Gardea’s campaign, which spent more than $360,000 plus attracting more than $26,000 in independent expenditures, quickly followed with an announcement that farm worker labor leader Dolores Huerta had endorses his candidacy.