NORWALK – With 100% of precincts reporting, Jennifer Perez, Tony Ayala, and Margarita Rios will serve as Norwalk's newest city council members this spring.
Perez, a Norwalk planning commissioner, and Ayala took an early lead Tuesday night in the crowded race for two, four-year terms open on the Norwalk City Council.
Perez garnered a solid victory, garnering 24.95% of the vote (1,588 votes) while Ayala, a former coordinator and services director at the Norwalk Senior Center, earned 23.71% of the vote (1,509 votes).
Esperanza Free and Enrique Aranda trailed behind with 1,003 and 893 votes respectively. The remaining candidates running for the two seats included Candy Martinez (473 votes), Harvey Cardenas (280 votes), Marcel Mercado (243 votes), Debbie Martinez (199) and Jamie E. Armenta (176).
In the special election to fill former Councilman Marcel Rodarte's seat on the council, Margarita Rios won soundly, earning 63.99% of the vote (2,324 votes).
Rodarte resigned last June to take a position as president of the California Contract Cities Association. Rios, a Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District board member, will now serve the remaining two years of his term.
Her opponents, Ken Menchaca and Alberto "Xzevious" Uribe, received 1,005 and 303 votes respectively.