Santa Maria City Councilwoman Alice Patino will become the next—and the first female—mayor of Santa Maria.
Patino was among four candidates vying for the seat of retiring Mayor Larry Lavagnino, who announced last year that he would not seek re-election after serving as mayor and on the five-member City Council since 1996.
Patino earned 50.16 percent of the nearly 14,500 votes cast from all 30 precincts counted by midnight Tuesday. City Coucilman Mike Cordero had the second-highest percentage at 34.89. Businessman and former City Councilman Marty Mariscal has 8.51 percent of the vote and relative newcomer Dan Gebhart has 6.17 percent.
With the results, Patino will vacate her council seat halfway through her four-year term, which ends in 2014. A new council member will either be appointed or elected via special election to serve the remainder of Patino’s council term.
Because Cordero fell short Tuesday, he will be off the council when his term is up this year.
Incumbent Bob Orach and newcomer Etta Waterfield will fill two open seats on the Santa Maria City Council after a tight race between three candidates.
Orach received 33.48 percent of votes, and Waterfield earned 33.31 percent. Newcomer Terri Zuniga fell short with 32.90 percent.