Cheers and applause filled the Asian Wok Café in American Canyon even before the polls closed Tuesday, in anticipation of victory for incumbents Mayor Leon Garcia and Councilwoman Joan Bennett, and first-time council candidate Ken Leary.
At 10:15 p.m., the second unofficial results validated the confidence of Garcia, Bennett and Leary backers. With 78 percent of the vote to Gustav Viale’s 22 percent, Garcia seemed off to a dominating lead.
“It looks very encouraging,” Garcia said. “It usually is trending the same throughout (the vote count).”
The race for the two council seats was tighter, showing Councilwoman Cindy Coffey, with about 20 percent of the vote, trailing Bennett’s 33 percent and Ken Leary’s 23 percent. First-time candidates, businesswoman Stacy Su, with 15 percent, and pipe fitter Jeffrey Jones, with 10 percent, brought up the rear.
Bennett said she was cautiously optimistic.
“We’re all anxiously awaiting the next round (of votes). It looks good. We’re very happy about Measure G,” Bennett said.
Measure G, ahead in the initial results 57 to 43 percent, would extend the mayor’s term from two years to four.
Leary said he worked hard to get elected but would continue to work for the city, win or lose.
The first results were based on 2,150 mail-in ballots out of about 9,000 registered voters in the county’s second-largest city.
Garcia, Bennett and Leary were joined at the election night party by state Assembly candidate Mariko Yamada, who was herself running for re-election.
“She really likes us in American Canyon,” Bennett told the crowd.
Also on hand were two other city councilmembers, Belia Ramos Bennett (no relation to Joan Bennett) and Mark Joseph. Ramos Bennett and Joseph endorsed the three candidates at the outset.
Around the corner, supporters of council candidate Stacy Su gathered at Mark’s Sports Bistro, while over in Canyon Plaza boosters of mayoral candidate Viale and Councilwoman Coffey waited for the early returns.