The Coast News Group

Incumbents run strong races in Vista

VISTA — Vista Mayor Judy Ritter, and Councilman John Aguilera held their seats, according to preliminary election results.

Councilman Dave Cowles’ win is still too close to call.

Ritter began the race with a strong 65.31 percent of votes, when initial results were posted at 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

She maintained a near 30 percent lead over her opponent Councilman Cody Campbell, who ran from a safe seat and will continue to serve two more years as councilman.

Preliminary results Wednesday morning show Rita as the winner with 62.43 percent of votes.

Aguilera garnered the most votes in the City Council two-seat race. He consistently stayed ahead of fellow candidates by four percent or more.

Wednesday’s preliminary results show Aguilera in the lead with 27.11 percent of votes.

Aguilera said he thanks voters for their confidence in him, the city, and the progress the city has made in creating a vibrant, walkable downtown.

“My hope for the city is that we continue the progress we’ve made in the downtown area, and all open spaces are filled with profitable businesses,” Aguilera said.

He said his future focus is to maintain the city’s aging sewer infrastructure. He would also like to add more city ball fields and parks as funds become available.

Cowles seems to have held his seat with 21.70 percent of votes, but the race is too close to call with less than half a percent margin between him and challenger John Franklin who finished the race with a preliminary vote of 21.59 percent.

Cowles said he would like to keep the city moving forward with planed housing projects, downtown retail expansion, additional jobs, and increased safety.

“I am anxious to continue the progress that’s underway in Vista,” Cowles said.

Challenger Chrystal Coleman followed fellow candidates with 16.84 percent of votes. Erubey Lopez trailed with 12.77 percent of votes.