Baldwin Park is expected to get its first new mayor in two decades if 26-year-old Emmanuel Estrada’s lead over long-time Mayor Manny Lozano holds up against any potential remaining mail-in and drop-off ballots tallied this week.
The unofficial election results showed Estrada captured about 52.3% of the vote to Lozano’s 47.7% as of Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the fight for two open City Council seats has established one clear winner and one likely winner. Councilwoman Monica Garcia secured 33% of the vote, a sizable lead over the other three challengers.
The second seat came down to a close battle between businessman Daniel Damian and appointed Councilwoman Jean Ayala, with about 350 votes separating them. Damian, the likely winner, received 26.8% of the vote while Ayala collected 25.3%, according to the results.
The outcome of the mayoral race ended up being the election’s biggest surprise. Lozano, seeking his 11th term, previously defeated Estrada — and another opponent — decisively just two years ago.
But Estrada, who took out a second job to finance the race, said he sees the success of his grassroots campaign this year as a symbol of voters’ desire for a new perspective.