The Santa Ana City Council’s progressive majority might be secure for another two years, as schoolteacher Benjamin Vazquez just narrowly overtook incumbent Nelida Mendoza as of the 5 p.m. election results update on Tuesday. 

It’s an important shift in results trends that previously pointed to a new police union-backed council majority, after a progressive majority rose to power in 2020 and steered conversations on police reform and spending – as well as housing and rent control.

With police union-backed candidate Valerie Amezcua on track to take the mayor’s post – currently held by the progressive-backed and outgoing Mayor Vicente Sarmiento – questions materialized about whether progressives’ power on the dais stood to stay.

[Read: Is Santa Ana’s Progressive Council Majority in Jeopardy?]

Earlier results showed all three police union-backed council incumbents on track to hold onto their seats. 

But Mendoza’s lead over Vazquez steadily waned in the days following election night. 

Now Mendoza – who took office in 2020 after the successful police union-funded recall of a councilmember who criticized the group – has fallen behind Vazquez by 14 votes. 

Election results as of 5 p.m. Tuesday still showed police union-backed candidates Phil Bacerra and David Penaloza holding wide leads over their progressive challengers.

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