VALLEJO – Planning Commissioner Charles Palmares continues to hold a slim 43 vote lead over former school board Trustee Ruscal Cayangyang as both men vie to represent the new District 4 on the Vallejo City Council.
The Solano County Registrar of Voters, which released an updated vote tally on Thursday, said there were more than 17,500 vote-by-mail ballots countywide left to count. Palmares was 52 votes ahead a day after Tuesday's election, but that lead dipped on Thursday. Due to the Veterans' Day holiday, the registrar of voters' office will be closed with counting resuming on Monday.
Palmares said in an Instagram post on Wednesday that the “election is too close to call.”
“I’m still feeling pretty confident! So, let’s just hang on a little bit longer until we for sure win this election,” Palmares wrote.
Palmares has 1,193 votes, while Cayangyang received 1,150 votes so far, more than double that the other two candidates that sought election to the sea. Community advocate Ravi Shankar received 543 votes, while Chris Platzer, a former Vallejo Planning Commissioner, and a U.C. Coast Guard-licensed Deck Officer, picked up 522 votes.
Meanwhile, the two other council contests weren’t close as healthcare administrator Peter Bregenzer appeared to win District 5, which represents Central Vallejo, while Planning Commissioner JR Matulac won District 2, which represents North Vallejo.
Bregenzer has 1,456 votes – 35% of the total – 401 votes more than local business owner Tara Beasley-Stansberry.
Prior to Wednesday’s update, Bregenzer told the Vallejo Sun that “the votes are still being counted, so we are not celebrating yet.”
“With that being said, I am humbled and honored to be the apparent victor for the City Council in District 5,” he said. “Since day one, I've been committed to serving the residents of District 5, and I'm looking forward to bringing our Vallejo values to the city council and contributing to Vallejo's bright future.”
On Wednesday, the Beasley-Stansberry campaign issued a statement on Instagram, congratulating Bregenzer on winning the seat, however, Beasley-Stansberry told the Vallejo Sun on Thursday that "the statement was issued prematurely."
"We did not know about the additional ballots remaining," she added in her response to the Vallejo Sun. "We did not intend to give the impression we conceded."
In its initial comment on Wednesday, the Beasley-Stansberry campaign also said during its initial comment that "while we lost the fight, we have not lost the battle."
“I will continue to do the heavy lifting in District 5 and throughout the city to Move Vallejo Forward," the Wednesday statement read.
Both outlasted three others who were seeking to represent the district: Tanya Hall, a college and career advisor for the Vallejo City Unified School District received 649 votes; Planning Commissioner Melissa Bowman, who also serves as district librarian for Vallejo City Unified School District, received 526 votes, and local businessman Dwight Monroe Jr. received 424 votes.
Monroe also acknowledged his apparent defeat in a Facebook post following the election.
“I’m thankful and forever grateful for you all Vallejo voters who wanted to give me a chance to lead our community,” he said. “I love you all.”
Meanwhile, in District 2, Matulac had received 1,236 votes – 38% of the total – and was 391 votes ahead of Cassandra James, who works as a senior community development specialist for the city of San Francisco.
James released a statement on Twitter about the results.
“I’m proud of these last few months and the coalition we built!,” James said. “This race was never about me but to create a community we all deserve — safe neighborhoods, clean streets, opportunities to thrive!"
Matulac couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Local realtor Don Jordan received 620 votes, while Garrett Toles, an incident commander for a security and risk management consulting firm, was behind with 578 votes.
The winners will replace termed-out councilmember Pippin Dew and Katy Miessner, who were both elected to the council in 2013 and then re-elected in 2018. Single-term councilmember Hakeem Brown decided against a second term after being elected to the council in 2018. He unsuccessfully ran for Vallejo mayor in 2020, following revelations of his documented history of domestic violence, including a prison sentence.
Editor's note: This article was updated on Nov. 11 to include additional comments from the Tara Beasley-Stansberry campaign.
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THE VALLEJO SUN NEWSLETTER
Investigative reporting, regular updates, events and more
- Vallejo City Council
- Charles Palmares
- Ruscal Cayangyang
- Ravi Shankar
- Chris Platzer
- Peter Bregenzer
- Dwight Monroe Jr.
- Diosdado “J.R.” Matulac
- Tara Beasley-Stansberry
- Tanya Hall
- Melissa Bowman
- Cassandra James
- Garrett Toles
- Pippin Dew
- Katy Miessner
- Hakeem Brown
- Don Jordan
John Glidden is a journalist reporting on the city of Vallejo. The native Vallejoan has written for the Vallejo Times-Herald, Fairfield Daily Republic, the Appeal, and Solano Tempest.
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