Escondido Mayor holds narrow lead in bid for third term in office

Posted at 6:05 PM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 21:05:55-05

ESCONDIDO (KGTV) - In one of the closest races this election cycle in San Diego County, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed added nine votes to his narrow lead Tuesday. He now holds a 29-vote advantage over challenger Paul McNamara.

Abed is seeking a third term as mayor, first winning in 2010. He was previously a councilman from 2004-2010.

Political analyst John Dadian told 10News he did not anticipate the race being so close. "I did not see it coming, so I am suprised. Going into the last week of the campaign, all the people I talked to that really know that area well, they did not see this coming."

Dadian feels several factors are playing a role in tightening the race. He cites changing demographics in Escondido, pulling away from the city's long-time conservative majority. Another conservative incumbent, Ed Gallo, appears to be losing his seat, as well.

In addition, Democrats in the region had a large turnout, based largely on the unsuccessful effort to oust Congressman Duncan Hunter. That large turnout may have had a down-ballot effect on the mayoral race.

Dadian also sites Abed's controversial stance on immigration, leading Escondido's bid to support efforts against California's sanctuary laws and visiting the White House for a highly-publicized meeting with President Trump. Dadian believes that may have helped enthuse opposition against Abed.

As of Tuesday night, Registrar of Voters Michael Vu says there are still 299,000 ballots to count county-wide. It is not known how many of those belong to Escondido voters, meaning it will likely be several days until the winner is known.