IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — The race for mayor of Imperial Beach is neck-and-neck between two candidates, early results showed Tuesday night.
The final results may take a few days, but right now the top two candidates are separated by just 23 votes.
Ballot counts will come in waves to determine the next mayor of Imperial Beach.
“So fingers crossed. We’ll see how it goes,” mayoral candidate Paloma Aguirre said.
“Yeah there’s votes still coming in,” mayoral candidate Shirley Nakawatase said. “You never know.”
Right now, Councilmember Aguirre has a slight lead with just over 42%.
“Our margin narrowed overnight. We’re cautiously optimistic that the next batch will again widen it. It’s early. We’re just hopeful,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre is a Democrat and would be the first Latina mayor of Imperial Beach, if elected. She says some of her priorities will include addressing the sewage spills from Mexico.
“It affects our environment. It affects our economy. It affects public health. Housing affordability is huge. 70% of residents in IB are renters. So a lot of people are undoing displacement,” Aguirre said.
Her Republican challenger, Shirley Nakawatase, is close behind with just over 41%.
“I ran because I wanted to have the best for Imperial Beach,” Nakawatase said.
Nakawatase also seeks to fix the sewage spill problem.
“If I could have the miracle happen where the United States and Mexico could work together and solve this. That would be a beautiful, beautiful thing. I think we got to get a lot of support from our federal government,” Nakawatase said.
In third place is John “Jack” Fisher, who serves the city as mayor pro tem.
In last place is Vance Locke, who is on the ballot but did not campaign.
The next batch update is Thursday at 5 p.m.
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