The day after the election as the Record Gazette went to press, newcomer to politics Jessica Black was in first place to potentially join Beaumont’s city council, followed closely by fellow challenger David Fenn.
The incumbent Julio Martinez was in last place.
As of Nov. 4, the numbers were 4,303 votes for Black, 4,270 for Fenn, and Martinez trailing with 4,266.
As of press time Nov. 11, the latest posted election results had turn things around, replacing Black at the top with Martinez.
Only two seats are open on the council.
Martinez now had 5,667 votes, followed by Fenn with 5,634, and Black in last at 5,571 as the latest round of provisional and mail-in ballots were counted.
As the votes still had not been finalized Wednesday, Martinez offered cautionary remarks: “I am very humble with the turn of events. However, I am aware that votes are still being counted, and therefore remain cautious but optimistic.”
If the numbers hold, Fenn will resign his elected position as a director for the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency, a post he has held since 2015.
Fenn has studied trends for provisional ballots from past elections, and previously told the Record Gazette that he’s holding out with cautious optimism. “It could be anyone’s race. It’s a very tight race,” Fenn points out. “I entered this race with no strings attached, and should the election to the city council of Beaumont be certified, I give my promise to all that I will do my best for the citizens of Beaumont.”
Jessica Black plans to run again, encouraged by the support she received in her first-ever run for office.
“If numbers stand and I’m not a part of city council, I will plan to apply for economic or planning or finance committees” to get her foot in the door politically, and to become more involved. “I’m pleased with number of votes I got. People trusted me enough, so I’ll take that and run with it.”
Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at email@example.com, or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.