Mayor Alan Galbraith conceded the election Monday to challenger Geoff Ellsworth after the latest election count showed Ellsworth leading by 41 votes.
Ellsworth has 1,275 votes (50.82 percent) and Galbraith has 1,234 votes (49.18 percent), according to Monday’s vote tally, which includes 95 percent of the ballots cast in the St. Helena mayoral race.
“Based on the latest results, Mr. Ellsworth is our new mayor,” Galbraith said in a statement released late Monday. “I compliment him on an effective campaign. I wish him, the Council, and the City well as they face the many challenges ahead. I most enjoyed my four years as mayor. I now look forward to observing City affairs from the sidelines.”
No more St. Helena results will be released until the election is certified the week of Nov. 26.
At midday on Tuesday, Ellsworth released the following statement:
"I want to thank Mayor Galbraith for his service to St. Helena and also welcome Anna Chouteau to the City Council. Working with the City Manager and staff over the last two years, this council created a solid work program that is focused on many important issues -- such as downtown revitalization, housing, water, SHAPE, quality of life, and city finances. I look forward to continued collaboration with my fellow Council members and the full engagement of the community as we work to understand, evaluate and act on the many opportunities ahead for our wonderful town.
"Thank you to my supporters and campaign volunteers. It was a long campaign, and my hope now is that the entire community will come together to bring out the best in our city. I'm very optimistic about the future of St. Helena."
With Ellsworth as mayor, the council has the choice of appointing someone to fill his council seat or calling a special election.
Galbraith’s concession statement continued, “I wish to thank the many enthusiastic supporters of my campaign: Napa County political leaders (Congressman Mike Thompson, all Supervisors, and especially all mayors, a most exceptional group), my informal brain trust (Kim Phinney, Tracy Sweeney, and Wayne Armstrong), treasurer Howard Walker, consultants Jim Scott and Rob Muelrath, the editorial board of the St. Helena Star for its strong endorsement, the financial contributors to my campaign, and the many residents who lent their names in support of my candidacy.
“My last word: City revenues are inadequate to support what we as a community wish of our City. We cannot equivocate on this point. We need to coalesce around a solution. Above all, we have an unsafe City Hall. The highest priority is its replacement.”
In the uncontested election for two City Council seats, Anna Chouteau has 1,693 votes and incumbent Paul Dohring has 1,541 votes.
Measure E, which would increase St. Helena’s hotel tax by 1 percent to raise money for housing, is passing with 2,031 yes votes (80.63 percent) and 488 no votes (19.37 percent). It needs a two-thirds supermajority (66.6 percent) to pass.