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Westminster’s latest round of election results Tuesday night showed early leads for newcomer Carlos Manzo for the District 2 City Council seat and majority council faction member Kimberly Ho for the District 3 seat.
Manzo, notably, is currently beating out his council majority-backed opponent NamQuan Nguyen — the second top vote-getter — for the District 2 seat.
Ho is beating out current minority faction Councilman Tai Do, a Long Beach police officer who’s been one of her most vocal critics and opponents, for the new district seat. If Do loses, however, he’ll keep his seat which he won under the city’s previous at-large, citywide voting system.
A term limits measure for city council members also continued to show a majority of voters in favor of it, according to the early results.
Whoever wins these seats will take charge of a city that’s part of Little Saigon with a vibrant Vietnamese American community and ambitions to expand its status as a tourism destination, but marked by neighborhood blight in areas like the west-end and years of intense bickering and disagreement at the government level.
Notably, the city’s recent switch to district elections have put two council members who have clashed with each other, Kimberly Ho and Tai Do, in the same District 3 — meaning they’re running against each other this year.
These results reflect all early votes cast up to Monday night. They do not include ballots cast in person on Election Day or mail-in ballots that arrived after Monday evening.
Election Day ballots are scheduled to be reported out in updates from county election officials Tuesday, starting at 9 p.m. In California, mail-in ballots can arrive in the days after the election and still count as long as they’re postmarked by Election Day.
Westminster voters were electing their City Council members by district for the first time, and the outcome of these contests could mark a shift in the politically-divided body’s balance of power between two factions, a two-member minority and three member-majority.
Read more about this race in depth: Five Westminster Council Candidates Hope to Take Charge of Disarrayed City.
Brandon Pho is a Voice of OC reporter and corps member at Report for America, a GroundTruth initiative. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @photherecord.