ENCINITAS — By Wednesday morning, the results in Encinitas municipal races showed Councilman Tony Kranz would be the city’s next mayor. At the time of this article, Kranz sat in a comfortable first place with 48.19% of the vote, with 29.4% of votes having been counted.
Cindy Cremona came in a distant second at 25.03%, while Jeff Morris ranked third with 23.97% of the vote. Michael Blobe was fourth with 2.81%.
“I’m honored to have received such a significant percentage of votes,” Kranz said. “I also recognize that people who aren’t happy with the direction the council’s been going split their votes between Cremona and Morris. So I’m not going to ignore the fact that a pretty good number supported these other candidates. By and large, I will continue to head this city in the direction we’ve been focused on in the last 10 years or so.”
Cremona conceded the race to Kranz in a statement provided to The Coast News.
“Although the results are a disappointment, we ran a clean and professional campaign,” Cremona said. “I’m incredibly grateful to my team, our volunteers and my supporters for their desire to create change in the direction Encinitas is heading. I sincerely hope that going forward, city leadership puts residents first.”
When asked to comment on the election results, Morris simply said, “I am retiring from politics.”
In District 4, Bruce Ehlers holds a commanding lead over Pamela Redela. Roughly 47.06% of ballots had been cast in favor Ehlers, compared to 32.24% of ballots for Redela, as of Wednesday morning. Dan Vaughn was third in the count at 12.78%, while Stacie Davis came in fourth at 7.91%.
“I’m optimistic now,” Ehlers said regarding updated results that showed his lead increase field.
While acknowledging that the results in his race were not yet final, Ehlers said his anticipated victory in the race demonstrated that a considerable contingent of residents are dissatisfied with the council.
“My message this campaign was, ‘Has the council lost its way?’ The resounding answer was a yes in District 4,” Ehlers said. “And while party politics may be quite strong, my results show that an independent free thinker can still win in Encinitas. We’re not quite as blue as some progressives would think.
Redela conceded the race Wednesday afternoon to Ehlers.
“I’m proud of the campaign I ran and as a first time candidate it was a good experience,” Redela told The Coast News. “Encinitas is full of the most amazing people. I wish Bruce the very best in his endeavors and look forward to following the work of the council.”
In District 3, incumbent Councilwoman Joy Lyndes held a small lead over challenger Julie Thunder, with a significant number of votes still to be counted. Lyndes came in at 52.41% of the counted ballots as of Wednesday, while Thunder followed closely behind at 47.59%.
“For the District 3 race, the election is clearly not over,” Thunder said. “I’m only trailing by 199 votes. This is a close race and the ballots they count in coming days will tell a story. I’m confident that the voters of D3 showed up and voted in their normal numbers,” Thunder said.