Partida and Carson Appear to Be the Top Two – Partida Poised to Be Mayor Pro Tem if Results Hold

For much of the night, it looked like conventional wisdom might hold.  Dan Carson was running first with Gloria Partida running second, Linda Deos a close third and Ezra Beeman a surprising fourth.

But in the release after 1 am, Gloria Partida suddenly pulled ahead and when all the precincts were counted she had a 241-vote lead.  Will that be enough to hold off Dan Carson for first?  That’s an open question.

What seems much more concrete is that, with a 1,000-vote gap between Dan Carson and third place Linda Deos, Mr. Carson will likely be elected to the council.  They will join Brett Lee who takes over as mayor in July, Will Arnold and Lucas Frerichs on the council.

The nine-person race was tough to predict for many.  Ezra Beeman finished a strong fourth, just 340 votes out of third.  Mary Jo Bryan, who turns 76 today, was the oldest candidate in the race, and she finished 5th with 9.1 percent, followed 8 votes back by Larry Guenther.

Eric Gudz was the youngest candidate, and they are currently in 7th, having pulled ahead of Mark West by 60 votes.  Mx. Gudz may benefit from late absentees from students, but it would not appear to be enough to overcome the large lead at the top.  Luis Rios as expected finished 9th, with 3.4 percent of the vote.

The Vanguard spoke to Gloria Partida late in the evening on Tuesday, while she was still running second.  At that time, she wasn’t willing to declare victory, calling herself “cautiously optimistic.”

Among the biggest issues was housing.

“Housing was definitely on a lot of people’s minds,” Ms. Partida stated.  “There were quite a few people out there who were definitely behind a No on J, but they were the minority and even they recognized that we needed more housing in Davis.”

Gloria Partida said the thing that was most important to her was economic development.

Measure H (parks) is currently passing with about 71 percent of the vote, but Measure I (roads) only has 55 percent and thus will most likely not reach the two-thirds threshold.

Ms. Partida said, “People didn’t want parcel taxes, because they would prefer economic development, and that I think is showing up in the H and I vote.”

She said of the results in the Measure I roads tax election, “That’s too bad because we definitely need the money for the streets.”

The results for Nishi and its margin did not surprise her.  “I think that the demographics have changed,” she said.  “I think it’s ironic that Measure R was put into place because we wanted to preserve what we had in Davis, but what it’s done is it has changed the demographics, so that the people who are now living here are the people who can afford to buy here, and they’re not from here.  They don’t feel the same about preserving slow growth.”

The Vanguard spoke to Gloria Partida this morning when it was clear she would likely be elected.

“I’m really quite humbled and honored actually.  It’s unbelievable to me,” she said, “I’m glad that the work I put into this campaign paid off.  I’m glad that what I believe in and my values have resonated with people.  It really impresses on me the need to be a good public servant.”

Dan Carson, at the time we spoke last night, was leading the field, but he was cautious.  It now appears that he may finish second, which is still good enough to be seated on the council.

He told the Vanguard, “I feel very upbeat.  We feel the results obviously are promising.”

Mr. Carson said the campaign walked to 10,000 doors with 16,000 voters living in those homes during the course of the campaign.

He said, “The level of support measured by the number of voters who said they would vote for me was consistently growing as the campaign went on.”

Mr. Carson said the 60-40 vote for Nishi was consistent with what they found going door to door.  They would ask an open-ended question about concerns the voters had in the neighborhood and citywide.

He said that in a lot of the situations when he talked to voters, he felt like the vast majority were Yes votes.

“My sense of it was more positive (toward Nishi) than negative,” he said.  “I’m not really surprised by the numbers we’ve seen.”

With Measure H appearing to pass and Measure I appearing to go down, Dan Carson said, “If I’m fortunate to be elected, we’ve estimated an $8 million per year funding gap for the city over the next 20 years.  The street and roads tax would have solved $3 million of that $8 million problem.  So if it fails, as it now seems to be doing, we still have an $8 million a year problem to deal.  It’s still doable, but we’ll have our work cut out for us.”

Councilmember Lucas Frerichs said, “I’m not surprised (Gloria Partida) came in first at all.  She has demonstrated an extended track record of effective community service, which is something Davis voters typically value.

“Whether fighting for inclusionary schooling for her disabled son, or her more recent work in founding and growing the flourishing Davis Phoenix Coalition (born out of a personal tragedy), or her service as a city commissioner, or being named as a recent Citizen of the Year, Gloria is constantly striving to bring out the best in Davis.”

He added, “I’m looking forward to serving with Gloria (and Dan Carson) as colleagues, and seeing what this new body can accomplish together!”

Outgoing Mayor Robb Davis said, “With Dan and Gloria we have two community members who, in their unique ways and based on their unique experiences and gifts, have already been serving the community of Davis.  They bring those gifts and perspectives to an already solid City Council and I believe they will help continue to make decisions that serve the needs of the community of Davis. I am very happy for them and for our City.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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    1. Matt Williams

      Dan is moving up to a new level.  His strength has been in the analysis of fiscal issues, presenting that analysis to an audience (legislators) who valued his thorough analysis and (often) lengthy memos summarizing his analysis.  Now his audience is different.  For the most part Davis citizens don’t have the fiscal understanding (or even interest) that legislators do, and their eyes will glass over if Dan tries to communicate with them the same way he did to legislators.

      So, his communication style, born in his early career as an investigative reporter for a newspaper, will need to change to one of quickly conveying his message without losing the interest of the citizen he’s talking to.  If Dan can do that he will be an outstanding Council member.  If his communication style from the dais continues to be that of an analyst/investigative reporter, we will probably experience Council meetings that are even longer than they already are.

      Only time will tell.

  1. Keith O

    Measure I road parcel tax goes down in flames.  Is this the first time a parcel tax in Davis has failed?  Is this the turning point where voters are saying you’re taxing us too much?

      1. Jeff M

        The parks tax was a renewal.


        It is a good day.

        1. Tia Will

          With regard to the roads and bike paths, it’s a good day only for those who do not want to pay for what they use. This is the antithesis of individual responsibility.

        2. Jeff M

          I am correct here and you are wrong.  The money for roads has already been taxed and allocated but it was pilfered and used for pay-for-play politics.

    1. Ken A

      With the oldest of the Boomers starting to die off and more Millennials starting to vote things are going to change.  Few would have projected a parcel tax losing and the people of Davis voting to expand the city limits just five years ago.  It is interesting that unlike so many Boomers that are either “pro Dem” or “pro GOP” an increasing number of Millennials are brutally cynical NPP voters like me and realize that most (but not all) politicians are just trying to get rich (and make friends, family and supporters rich).  The kids that are deep in debt after years of working to get a PhD who are working at Starbucks (aka the nations new homeless bathroom) are a LOT different than the debt free Boomers who got a tenure track job the day after getting their PhD in the 70’s.  Most kids in their 20’s don’t even own cars today (and don’t even dream about having a vintage T Bird that they drive to their Sea Ranch place on weekends like Professor who was their thesis advisor).  Bad roads are not a big deal when you only drive now and then in an Uber or Lyft car.


      1. Jeff M

        an increasing number of Millennials are brutally cynical NPP voters like me and realize that most (but not all) politicians are just trying to get rich (and make friends, family and supporters rich).

        Sounds like Trump supporters.  And before you go off in defense or attack related to this opinion, it is my related opinion that Trump’s platform is the ying to Bernie Sander’s yang and both are platforms of reaction to the very establishment sickness/malady that you point out here.   However, the media really part of the establishment and/or controlled by the establishment and Trump and Sanders are targets for them to destroy.

        I keep wondering when the kids will wake up that they are being brainwashed and manipulated to a high emotional state to agitate for things that are not good for their future prospects by the Baby Boomers who have, like a swarm of locusts to a field, consumed everything in their path and left the kids the stalks and the bill… and those adults are still demanding more and more and more that will just keep increasing the bill.

        On this day which is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy… the one that turned the tide of the war against Nazi Germany… it is profound that the Greatest Generation that sacrificed so much so their children could have a better life… created the most Selfish Generation that would do so much to destroy what was fought for.

    2. Keith O

      Measure I getting roundly defeated has to send up all kinds of red flags for the city and school district.  First off the city greatly backed off the much higher amount that they really wanted I’m sure thinking that he lower ask was a slam dunk.  Secondly who doesn’t want better roads and paths?  So the cause was something that the public is concerned about but they still voted against it because taxes are getting too high.

  2. Jeff M

    We got one fiscal conservative to replace the two that are leaving.   I am not sure this was such a positive result on the Davis City Council… but it matches what California seems to be doing… heading toward a great Greek tragedy.

        1. Howard P

          At a different level, Harry S Truman, rose above his “core beliefs”/core ‘ideology’… once he was in office as prez, many folk were astounded by the shift to “what is needful” from ideology… he acknowleged it himself…

          May our two successful candidates look and react to the “big picture”, and not only their own ‘bents’…. I am hopeful both will… ‘it’s for the Community’….

        2. Jim Hoch

          ‘it’s for the Community’ sometimes, though “it’s for my ambition” is more realistic. I don’t know her well enough to even guess whether this is a stepping stone. With Dan it’s hard to imagine.

        3. Matt Williams

          Why do you say “with Dan it is hard to imagine”?  I have no problem at all imagining him having those upwardly mobile aspirations.

        4. Jim Hoch

          “Why do you say “with Dan it is hard to imagine”?”

          I see Dan as risk-averse though likely you know him better than I do.  Going higher than city council will mean serious risk and discomfort.

        5. David Greenwald

          I think you are conflating types of risk-aversion.  After all, he jumped into a council race which was a risk.  I kind of lean against him seeking higher office for other reasons.

        6. Tia Will

          She may pivot from what plays well in Davis to what will make her a candidate for a wider demographic.”

          Or more likely in my opinion, being both a scientist with administrative experience & having a keen and personal awareness of social issues and how they impact both personal and community finances, she is likely to take an objective look at each issue that comes before her and make decisions based on her view of the overall balance of pros and cons. That is what scientists are trained to do.

        7. Jim Hoch

          “That is what scientists are trained to do.”

          If you believe people are their job and you can stereotype people that way. I don’t.

          That would be like saying that all MD’s prioritize patient benefit over their own interests because that is how they are trained in school. 100 years of medical marketing has shown that not to be true.

      1. Tia Will


        I feel Partida will be more concerned with social justice issues than what the city really needs, someone to steer the fiscal ship.”

        It is interesting to me that you do not seem to see that “social justice issues” and “the fiscal ship” are inseparably intertwined. This should be apparent in a city so dependent upon education. Also in a city that has spent years grappling with the issues of homelessness.


        1. David Greenwald

          There is a fundamental point that Keith is also missing – the agenda of the council is the agenda. That’s what is going to determine her focus. Councilmembers can come on the council with a variety of goals, but ultimately the policy environment determines what they spend time dealing with.

    1. Howard P

      Very good question (except the Preoria part)… am skeptial, and hopeful (yeah, dichotomy of sorts)… there is always the recall process, or waiting for two years…

      I say again, this was the weakest slate of candidates that I’ve run across since 1972…

      Yet, yeah all have some ‘strengths’, but am thinking if they (new Council) doesn’t draw on each other, listen to/consider the views each other, and the community, Davis will be in another/further “crisis”…

  3. Todd Edelman

    I am not clear on the full details about when I-80’s the busiest but let’s talk about 65,000 which is about half of the current number of vehicles that transit our City daily. These 65,000 passages represent the busiest commuter and weekend-getaway I-80 trips. 65,000 x 365 = 23,725,000, nearly 24 million vehicles per year.

    Let’s say that a $3 toll per vehicle resulted in a $2 net per vehicle. This would result in the tidy sum of $47,450,000, about eight times the current road maintenance backlog.
    City of Davis residents should only pay part of $3, so the net might be less.

    All we have to do is get Caltrans to agree. There should be no technological barrier. They are already considering a paid express lane on an expanded I-80. We should obviously agree to pay for its implementation, but financing would appear to be simple given the easy-to-predict return.

    I can’t see how this would be much less controversial than a parcel tax.

    Caltrans is holding a open house tonight about the I-80 high occupancy vehicle/expansion project for the highway between Kidwell and the east side of the bypass. I encourage the most-likely-to-win council candidates to join me there.

    Yolo 80 Multi-Modal Corridor Improvement Project Open House, 6 to 7:30pm tonight at the Davis Senior Center.

  4. Howard P

    I don’t hate 3-2 votes… ‘like’ them… a form of super-majority — 60%… wish all our 67% vote requirements would go to 60% + 1… right now, a 4/5 ths vote of CC constitutes 80%… would hate to go to that, or 100% CC vote to move a football…

  5. Howard P

    Oh, almost forgot John’s first point… in responding to,

    ” …Boomers who have, like a swarm of locusts to a field, consumed everything in their path and left the kids the stalks and the bill… and those adults are still demanding more and more and more that will just keep increasing the bill….”

    Who served in the Peace Corps, VISTA, military?  Who have, and continue to serve as volunteers in their community, be it AYSO coaches/refs, food closets, community meals (including Loaves and Fishes), their faith communities?  Who contributes most to charities?

    I you think GenX or Millenials, better guess again.

    John was too kind (or watching out for “filters”, here)… way too kind in his characterization of the quoted text!!  Two to five orders of magnitude…

    1. John Hobbs

      ” John was too kind (or watching out for “filters”, here)… way too kind in his characterization of the quoted text!!”

      And got censored, anyhow. Who do I have to know to get the anonymous privileges?

  6. Tia Will


    She is only half the council member that Robb Davis is/was.”

    Small surprise that I see this very differently. The Vanguard recently posted Robb Davis’ graph of his learning curve with regard to knowledge a city council member needs. I feel that Gloria Partida’s learning curve took a very similar trend over the course of the campaign. In the early months of the campaign, I had told my partner that I could not support her because of her lack of knowledge of how the city functioned even though I believed she would bring a better perspective on how social issues affect our community. Over the course of the campaign, I watched her improve steadily. The awareness of one’s own limitations and willingness to learn may ultimately be more important than starting out with more technical knowledge but a greater certainty of one’s own “correctness”.

    I am very pleased to see Gloria on the council for the different perspective I feel that she will bring to the public conversation and because of the fact that she remains committed to learning per our personal conversation.

    1. David Greenwald

      I think Jeff forgets where Robb Davis was on day one. Yes, he knew the issues, but it was still a steep growth curve as it is for everyone.

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