Partida and Vaitla Hold Big Leads in Early Returns in Davis City Council Races

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – Results trickled in locally on Tuesday night.  In the initial round, both incumbent Gloria Partida (Fourth District) and challenger Bapu Vaitla (First District) held sizable leads.  Those results largely held through a release at 1:25 am, what the Yolo County Elections Office determined to be the final update for election night.

In District 4, despite a series of attacks on the incumbent, Partida had a lead of 1564 to 1005, 559 votes or a 60.9 to 39.1 lead.

In the three person race, Bapu Vaitla held a somewhat larger 800 vote lead or 59.4 to 27.3 over incumbent Dan Carson with Kelsey Fortune in distant third at 13.3 percent.

Carson was dogged by his role in a challenge to the ballot language for Measure H – a role he ultimately apologized for in the first of several candidate forums in UfPRm2vEyj4wCd62gNrjyEU2avX1aytZ9a98utbsof6d91kw2LxEZ0wpYdTb6zVqMFYVBV3s-OgrZI%3D”>

At this point it is unclear how many votes remain to be counted in the two districts.  However, in 2020, the districts generated between 5300 and 6600 votes in an election historic for its turnout.

The Vanguard caught up with Partida on Tuesday night outside of her campaign event.

“I’m very happy and very relieved, and I’m just really pleased that the Davis community felt that they had confidence in me and were willing to support me again,” Partida said when asked about the early results.  “It was very stressful. I think it was more stressful than I realized. I think that the experience was a very trying one.”

Not surprisingly a big issue that came up when she talked with voters was Measure H.  While Partida did not have the baggage of the ballot language challenge, she was a key supporter of DISC both in 2020 and 2022 – a project that her district overwhelmingly rejected both time.

“I had a lot of conversations with people about Measure H, but I think for the most part, people understood that there was a lot more than just Measure H to being a leader in this community,” she explained.

Moving forward, she said, “when I first got elected there, I had three priorities. They were economic development and homelessness and affordable housing. And for the most part, I felt that that was interrupted by Covid. So those are still out there waiting to be worked on. I think that there’s a lot that we need to pay for, and economic development is a top priority because of that. But I think that some of the other things that people don’t think about very much like our families and parks and rec we need to really focus on the things that contribute to the quality of life in our community. And you have to pay for those things.”

In the meantime, a lot of people will come out of this election concerned with the campaign attacks.

For her part, Gloria Partida, “I think it’s the work that I do… around inclusivity.”  She explained, “It’s around building bridges between people who have differences, and it’s what I believe in. And so I’m very hopeful that we can remember that we’re a community and that we all have similar goals. And I tell people all the time that I’m very accessible and if they want to talk about whatever it is, I’m very happy to do that.”

The Vanguard was unable after numerous attempts to reach Bapu Vaitla.  We will have more coverage on this race as more results come available.

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. Ron Glick

    One consistent tell  in City Council elections has been fund raising. I don’t know if the money makes a difference or if it flows to the winners instinctively , Bapu, Gloria, Will and Lucas all led in fundraising. I can’t remember if Josh raised more than Rochelle but my guess is he did.

    The interesting thing with Gloria is that she received a large number of donations after the No on H attack. The attacked backfired as far as fundraising and if fundraising is a tell then it backfired with the voters as well.

  2. Ron Glick

    Anti-growth proponents lost big. One of the usual suspects told me he would prefer Carson over Bapu. Gloria owes them nothing. Of course they still have Measure J, the anti-development chokehold remains an anchor around the necks of renters and young families.

    1. Keith Y Echols

      Anti-growth proponents lost big. One of the usual suspects told me he would prefer Carson over Bapu.

      I don’t understand your statement.  Carson was the primary supporter of Measure H.  Isn’t he considered pro growth?  I saw Bapu as the middle ground.  He’s not anti-growth but probably prioritized pointless local environmental policy (because most local environmental policy is pointless) over economic growth.  He’d support something like Measure H if it came with enough baggage to weigh it down (like building solar powered condos for frogs to nest in or a high sky suspension bicycle bridge)….the kind of stuff that kills lots of potential projects.  Fortune I believe was the almost purely the anti-growth regressive.  Both Bapu and Fortune belief in the mythical eldritch magics of infill development.  But I do not believe Bapu takes to it as dogma as much as Fortune….meaning he’s open to peripheral development if it has garden roofs that produce kale.

      At any rate, it appears that Carson took the fall for his idiotic political decisions…..decisions that he had the right to make…..but politically speaking….stupid.


        1. Keith Y Echols

          I guess it’s a glass half empty/half full thing.  Kept Partida and lost Carson (who’s about as pro growth as you can get…at least for East Davis developments).

          I don’t think Partida’s “pro growth” stance is the most significant factor in her re-election.  I think it’s her candidate likability, experience, known commodity/incumbent and strong social activism/reform background that got her elected.  So I’m not so sure Fortune’s poor showing is an indictment on anti-growth sentiment in Davis as you believe.

  3. David Greenwald

    My hot take:

    While Partida would have likely won easily regardless, the attack on her really backfired on so many levels.  And it was a bad read – the area she was vulnerable on was Measure H.  She built up a reputation in this community over the last 10 to 15 years and most people were going to give her the benefit of the doubt on a sticky family situation.

    On the other hand, Dan Carson doomed himself, in my opinion not necessarily on just filing the action, but also seeking the money and when he got into it with public commenters during a council meeting.  That’s a pretty big rebuke he got from the voters on that.

  4. Colin Walsh

    Correction: Carson did not apologize at the forum and has still not apologized to this day. Carson admitted his lawsuit was a mistake. That is not an apology. In my opinion, all he is admitting to is a tactical mistake.

    1. Keith Y Echols

      That is not an apology. In my opinion, all he is admitting to is a tactical mistake.

      The guy lost the election.  So you’re saying he didn’t cut off a pound of flesh and gift wrap it (maybe with some ice packets so it doesn’t rot) for Alan Pryor?  I mean what if Carson consented to being put in a stockade at the Farmer’s Market and allowed the no growth regressive to pelt him with rotting vegetables?  Would that quell your outrage towards Carson?  Or what if Carson opens an agricultural commune with  bunch of hippie farmers (bonus if they drove vegetable oil powered VW buses…but they’d more likely drive Subarus) on the edge of city limits that prevents a future development?  Would that cleanse Carson of his pro growth sins?

    1. Hiram Jackson

      I believe any uncounted mail-in ballots postmarked by yesterday can still be accepted and counted within the next several days.  There will also be some ballots that may not have had signatures matching what is on file.  There is a chance for voters to go in and correct that.

    2. Matt Williams

      The County Elections website has the following message posted on their Election Results page.

      UNOFFICIAL Yolo County Election Results can be found below. The California Elections Code requires the Elections Office to perform a Post-Election canvass before certifying the final results. The canvass period lasts 30 days after a statewide primary or general election. During this time, the elections office will continue to count all remaining valid ballots. No results are final until the election is certified. The next update will take place Tuesday, 11/15/2022, by 5:00 pm.

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