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Dane White defeated incumbent Mayor Paul McNamara to become the next mayor of Escondido. Courtesy photo/Dane White
Dane White has defeated incumbent Paul McNamara to become the next mayor of Escondido. Courtesy photo/Dane White
CitiesElections 2022EscondidoNewsPolitics & GovernmentRegion

Escondido elects new mayor, opposes sales tax

ESCONDIDO — Voters in Escondido have elected a new mayor and are poised to strike down a ¾-cent sales tax measure aimed at improving public safety and city services.

As of Nov. 18, mayoral challenger Dane White has captured 51.62% of the vote against incumbent Mayor Paul McNamara with 48.38%, with just over half of the votes counted countywide.

“This year’s election results clearly show that Escondido residents agree the status quo is not working in our community and it is time for a new generation of leadership,” White said in an official victory announcement.

McNamara was first elected as mayor in 2020.

White has been an elected member of the Escondido High School Board of Education since 2016. He is a fifth generation Escondido resident who attended Escondido High School and Escondido Charter. He owns WhiteWerks Flooring LLC and is the son-in-law to Councilmember Mike Morasco.

Incumbent Councilmember Consuelo Martinez of District 1 won reelection by an overwhelming majority of votes against opponent Mike Johnson-Palomares.

“I am honored to continue to serve the city that I love for another term,” Martinez said in a Facebook post.

Councilmember Joe Garcia has also pulled ahead of opponent Jeff Griffith in the race for the District 2 seat. Garcia, who originally represented District 3, was moved into District 2 after redistricting. If Garcia wins, the council’s District 3 seat will be empty, leaving the option to either fill it by a special election or a council-appointed member.

The official swearing-in ceremony for City Council is on Dec. 14.

Sales tax, term limits and city treasurer pay

Things aren’t looking good for the city’s proposed ¾-cent sales tax measure, which would be used to improve and maintain public safety and other city services.

While the vote has teetered back and forth, 50.63% of voters oppose the tax. This trend contradicts a survey of voters performed over the summer that projected 62-68% of voters would have favored the tax.

On the other hand, voters overwhelmingly favored imposing term limits for City Council members and reducing the city treasurer’s compensation.

As for Escondido Union High School board of education, Bob Weller won an overwhelming majority of votes to represent Area 1 against opponent Mickey E. Jackson. Trustee Jon Petersen also won against opponent Kathryn McCarthy for Area 5.

In the Escondido Union School Board, incumbent Trustee Joan Gardner won her reelection against Elizabeth Shulok in the Area 2 race. Trustee Georgine Tomasi lost her reelection against former board member Zesty Harper for the Area 4 seat.

More local election news and results