VALLEJO – Three weeks after voters went to the polls, former school board Trustee Ruscal Cayangyang conceded on Wednesday, congratulating Charles Palmares for winning the District 4 seat on the Vallejo City Council.
Out of the three separate council contests for city council, District 4, which represents Mare Island and Downtown, was the closest race as Palmares won with a slim 62-vote margin over Cayangyang, according to official results from the Solano County Registrar of Voters.
"Our campaign wishes to congratulate the victor in this year’s election for Vallejo City Council District 4,” Cayangyang said in a statement. “We felt it was crucial to wait until all the votes were counted, as this was a very close race. I look forward to working together for the betterment of Vallejo with elected officials and residents alike.”
Palmares, a member of the city’s planning commission, received 35% of the vote, or 1,413 votes, on his way to also defeating two other challengers, including community advocate Ravi Shankar, who received 657 votes, and former Planning Commissioner Chris Platzer, who received 598 votes.
Both Palmares and Cayangyang ran grassroots campaigns with Palmares declining to accept or solicit endorsements or campaign contributions from political action committees or current and former elected officials. Cayangyang was backed by Mayor Robert McConnell and Councilmember Cristina Arriola (District 6 - South Vallejo).
Cayangyang served on the school board from 2015 to 2018. He was appointed to the board in January 2015 when Richard Porter, who won in the November 2014 school board elections, declined to take office. Cayangyang placed fourth in the election for three open school board seats.
Cayangyang easily won election to the board in November 2016, defeating former school board Trustee Hazel Wilson to complete the final two years of Porter’s original term. He lost reelection to the school board in 2018.
Palmares will be joined on the council in January by Diosdado “J.R.” Matulac, who won the election for District 2 - North Vallejo, and Peter Bregenzer, who won election for District 5 - Central Vallejo, replacing outgoing councilmembers Pippin Dew, Katy Miessner, and Hakeem Brown.
Dew and Miessner are termed out of office after being elected to the council in 2013, with both securing second terms in 2018. Brown, also elected in 2018, decided against running for a second term, following revelations of his criminal history of domestic violence during his unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 2020.
The new council will be tasked with multiple issues, including reforming the police department, getting a navigation center up and running to serve the city’s homeless, addressing frustrations from community members with the poor roads in town, and repairing the mistrust from the community toward its city government.
The new members will leave vacancies in city commissions as both Matulac and Palmares serve on the planning commission, while Bregenzer is a member of the Architectural Heritage & Landmarks Commission. All three will be required to vacate those seats before joining the council.
In addition, all three new councilmembers will have an opportunity to select a member to the city’s surveillance advisory board, which is tasked with advising the Vallejo City Council on best practices for protecting the privacy, safety, and civil rights of residents when the city chooses to use surveillance technology.
Unlike other city boards and commissions, members of the surveillance advisory board have their terms tied to the councilmember who appoints them.
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THE VALLEJO SUN NEWSLETTER
Investigative reporting, regular updates, events and more
- Vallejo City Council
- Ruscal Cayangyang
- Charles Palmares
- Ravi Shankar
- Chris Platzer
- Peter Bregenzer
- Diosdado “J.R.” Matulac
- Vallejo school board
- Hazel Wilson
- Pippin Dew
- Katy Miessner
- Hakeem Brown
- Vallejo Planning Commission
- Architectural Heritage and Landmarks Commission
- Vallejo Surveillance Advisory Board
John Glidden worked as a journalist covering the city of Vallejo for more than 10 years. He left journalism in 2023 and currently works in the office of Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown.
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