OCEANSIDE — Preliminary results show the incumbent mayor and council members will keep their seats. Mayor Jim Wood took an early lead with 55.16 percent of the preliminary votes, followed by challenger Councilman Jerry Kern with 32.16 percent of votes from 12 out of 90 precincts.
At midnight Wood remained ahead.
Wood led by 51.10 percent and Kern followed at 31.32 percent of votes from 48 out of 90 precincts. In the final preliminary count Wood kept his lead with 54.48 percent of votes and Kern followed with 30.92 percent.
The vote for two City Council seats was closer. Incumbent Councilwoman Esther Sanchez took the lead with 27.37 percent of preliminary votes, followed by incumbent Councilman Jack Feller with 22.79 percent of votes. Dana Corso was a close third with 21.75 percent of preliminary votes.
At midnight the vote spread remained about the same. Sanchez had 27.42 percent of votes, Feller had 22.70 percent of votes and Corso had 21.71 percent of votes from the 48 precincts counted. In the final preliminary count Sanchez led by 27.14 percent, followed by Feller at 22.67 percent and Corso at 21.39 percent.
Wood was positive going into Election Day, but did not claim a win ahead of the final results.
He said that real change depends on the wins of Sanchez, Corso and himself.
This would switch the council majority.
“We’re hoping our side wins,” Wood said. “There are a lot of issues on board.”
Wood said rent control, city staffing levels and the ability to continue to provide services will be pressing issues the council will need to address.
“If the council stays as is nothing changes,” Wood said. “They still have the voting majority.”
Sanchez spoke positively about Oceanside’s future. She said she looks forward to moving ahead with improvement projects to promote business growth like the Coast Highway Vision Plan.
“I look forward to working as team with the community,” Sanchez said. “A team concept
is something that we haven’t had for the last few years.”
Sanchez also said it is important for Wood, Corso and herself to win to move the city forward.
“Otherwise it’s the status quo and we continue downward,” Sanchez said.
Opposition by Wood and Sanchez to Propositions E and F in June highlighted the council’s 2-3 split. The propositions called for the elimination of rent control and a requirement for candidates to win by a 51 percent majority vote. Citizen grassroots efforts led by Corso helped defeat both propositions.
Feller who is part of the council majority said he felt confident about going forward with the council “as is.”
“We can continues our march to eliminate the deficit and create revenue streams through free market and free will entrepreneurship,” Feller said. “Progress is not a bad word.”
Feller said his focus going forward is pension reform and encouraging “middle income” businesses like biomedical to open.
“We can get by with a McDonald’s mentality, but need to get to the point where we’re considered something greater than that,” Feller said. “People don’t understand how great a place Oceanside is. We’re gaining momentum.”