Tony Beall and Carol Gamble will be City Council members in Rancho Santa Margarita for the next four years.
With 1,109 votes left to be counted by the Orange County Registrar of Voters, Beall has become the all-time leading vote-getter in city history, and Gamble cannot be overtaken by challenger Kenney Hrabik.
Neither can Brad McGirr, who was running for the two-year term; he has more than enough votes to hold off Larry McCook.
Beall, Gamble and McGirr essentially ran as a team, advertising and campaigning together. Gamble as an original councilmember who resigned in 2004 to tend to the health of her father. Beall was originally voted to the council in 2004. McGirr was Beall's appointment as planning commissioner after the 2010 election, although they did not know each other well at the time.
"With this great margin of victory, the election was effectively over at 8:05 p.m., on election night," Beall said Monday. "There was never any doubt that Carol and I were going to win; the percentages never changed in any meaningful way.
"This is an affirmation by the voters that they appreciate the extraordinary results we have delivered over past years—for their benefit. Our message was very clear. We were proudly running on our record, which is a record of great success. ... Based on that record, they've entrusted us with four more years."
Beall has accumulated 12,273 votes in the three-person election, in which voters were asked to select two of the three candidates. Since election night on Nov. 6, Beall has maintained about 45 percent of the vote. At 5 p.m. on Monday, he was up 0.2 percent, 45.1 pecent from a week ago.
Voted by his council colleagues as mayor the past two years, Beall's total exceeds the votes amassed in 2008 by Jerry Holloway, who garnered 11,124 votes, or 39.4 percent, also in a three-person race. In that election, Beall was runner-up with 10,194 for the other seat on the council while Mike Eggers took third with 6,935, which was 24.5 percent.
Gamble leads Hrabik by 3,571 votes, thus assuring she will sit on the council for another four years. About 20 months ago she was appointed to fill the seat made available by Gary Thompson after his resignation; Hrabik was among the 21 who applied for the position and was on the short list of six candidates.
McGirr, in his first campaign, wrestled with nervousness throughout election night but can finally sleep easy. The attorney and city planning commissioner leads retired CEO McCook by 1,637 votes, more than enough to hold on to the two-year term that was available. McGirr captured 41.9 percent of votes counted thus far, to McCook's 31.7.
With only about 1,100 votes remaining, none of the results will change the outcome for the winners, and there won't anything close enough to warrant a recount.
However, the results are not official and may not become official for a couple of weeks.
Here are the most recent totals:
Rancho Santa Margarita City Council, four-year term (vote for 2)
- Tony Beall: 12,273 votes, 45.1 percent
- Carol Gamble: 9,265 votes, 34.0 percent
- Kenney Hrabik: 5,694 votes, 20.9 percent
Rancho Santa Margarita City Council, two-year term (vote for 1)
- Brad McGirr: 6,689 votes, 41.9 percent
- Larry McCook: 5,052 votes, 31.7 percent
- Glenn Acosta: 4,215 votes, 26.4 percent
Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 2 (vote for 1)
- Jim Reardon: 8,341 votes, 48.8 percent
- Carol McCormick: 4,235 votes, 24.8 percent
- Don Franklin Richardson: 3,385 votes, 19.8 percent
- Michele Taylor-Bible:1,148 votes, 6.7 percent
Saddleback Valley Unified School District (vote for 3)
- Don Sedgwick: 44,161 votes, 29.6 percent
- Suzie Swartz: 44,004 votes, 29.5 percent
- Ginny Faiy Aitkens: 39,572 votes, 26.5 percent
- Earl Carraway: 21,647 votes, 14.5 percent
Member of the State Assembly, 73rd District (vote for 1)
- Diane Harkey: 122,498 votes, 64.6 percent
- James Corbett: 67,028 votes, 35.4 percent
Santa Margarita Water District, Director (vote for 3)
- Betty Olson: 29,051 votes, 27.4 percent
- Charley Wilson: 26,518 votes, 25.0 percent
- Chuck Gibson: 22,410 votes, 21.2 percent
- Fred Carr: 14,265 votes, 13.5 percent
- Stan Dziecielski:13,625 votes, 12.9 percent
Municipal Water District of Orange, Director, Division 6 (vote for 1)
- Jeff Thomas: 51,861 votes, 62.2 percent
- Don Chadd: 31,507 votes, 37.8 percent
U.S. House of Representatives District 45
- John Campbell (R): 161,469 votes, 59.1 percent
- Sukhee Kang (D): 111,837 votes, 40.9 percent