Garcia upsets incumbent Allen in early vote count

March 06, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ

Staff Writer

In unofficial results, Brawley resident Ruben A. Garcia Jr. upset long-term incumbent Lloyd Allen to win the Division 3 seat on the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors.


There are still an unknown number of absentee and provisional ballots to be counted, according to county elections official Dolores Provencio.

Garcia trailed all night, then suddenly came from behind and in the final results appears to have nudged out Calipatria resident Allen.


Garcia received 6,735 votes, or 49.84, while Allen took 6,686, or 49.48 percent.

Allen said with the remaining ballots to count, he was not ready to comment.

Garcia, however, was with supporters and a party could be heard in the background.

"I'm happy," he said. "I have a lot of people here with me; we're exhausted. I said this was going to be the beginning or the end of my political career."

Garcia faced an uphill battle, not only because Allen has served on the board for years but Garcia raised about one-fourth of what Allen raised.

With a difference of only 49 votes, Garcia said it was reminiscent of his 1998 loss — by 59 votes — in a race for county supervisor.

"I've been through this already," he said.

Besides the absentee and provisional votes to be counted, it appears on the results handed out by the Elections Department that not all of the precincts were counted. The data shows only 119 precincts of 125 were counted. Provencio said some mail precincts resulted in no ballots being returned, so the precincts would not show as having been counted.

In early returns, Allen led Garcia by as much as 74 percent to 25 percent. That difference quickly began to erode until in the last returns that were posted, Garcia was in front.

>> Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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