Election night results in Santa Ana showed leads for Nelida Mendoza, Phil Bacerra and David Penaloza for three open City Council seats, and Valerie Amezcua in the lead for Mayor. 

The 11:00 p.m. results update showed Amezcua leading fellow mayoral candidates Jose Solorio by 2,486 votes and Sal Tinajero by 3,703 votes in the mayoral race. 

Mendoza led Benjamin Vazquez by 149 votes in the race for Ward 2. 

Bacerra led Amalia Mejia by 700 votes in the race for Ward 4. 

And Penaloza led Manny Escamilla by 433 votes in the race for Ward 6. 

A large number of outstanding ballots remain to be counted, but whoever wins these seats will oversee one of Orange County’s trademark cities – the seat of county government and a national microcosm for issues on immigration, housing affordability, homelessness and policing. 

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.

The 2020 election saw big changes to the political makeup of Santa Ana’s policymaking dais – one swinging progressive. 

Since then, the city’s enacted rent control and just cause eviction ordinances, tackled homelessness and service providers in town, and led key conversations on the role of policing in public safety in Southern California.

What happens next to this city will be shaped by the results reported on this page, which will be updated throughout the night. 

Read more about this race in depth: Here Are Santa Ana Candidates’ Views on Policing, Homelessness, Open Space

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