Neville Declares Victory in City Council Election

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – Over a week after the special election for District 3, Donna Neville is declaring victory.

In an email to supporters on Thursday, she wrote, “After the latest returns from Tuesday morning, my team and I are proud to announce the voters in District 3 have elected me to be their next councilwoman! While the results have not been certified, I have gained vote margin in every new release of results.”

The initial returns showed Neville with a 61-39 lead over her opponent Francesca Wright.  However, despite the healthy lead, the relatively small number of votes caste kept the lead to around 450 after Election Day – that plus the string of tragic stabbings put a damper on normal celebrations and announcements.

In her message, Neville acknowledged the moment in Davis.

“I would like to take a moment to extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of David Henry Breaux and Karim Abou Najm. I also send words of support to Kimberlee Guillory who was able to survive her attack but will have a long recovery,” she said.  “These events left our community shaken and full of questions. But our response as a community reminded me once again of what makes Davis so wonderful.”

She offered praise to her opponent, Francesca Wright, for running “a great campaign” and staying “true to her commitment to make this race about the issues.”

Neville said, “I hope that anyone who observed the District 3 City Council race recognized that there were two candidates who are dedicated to our community and determined to make a positive difference.”

Neville added, “Once the results are certified, I look forward to joining my colleagues on the Davis City Council on June 6. I hope you can join me at the swearing in ceremony that evening.”

She concluded, “The important issues remain the same – making housing more available and more affordable; getting to work updating our General Plan; reinvigorating our downtown; attracting and retaining innovative businesses that want to locate in Davis; addressing climate change and making Davis more climate resilient; and, of course, working to promote fiscal stability. We have a lot of important work to do, and I look forward to getting started!”

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

    Congratulations to Donna.  I sent her a congratulatory e-mail this morning that included the following suggestion:

    I also strongly hope you will put into discussions with your fellow council members a plan for going back to at large elections.  Our brief history with District elections hasa clearly shown that they actually make it harder for communities of interest to be represented due to the homogeneity of our demographic dispersal in Davis coupled with the requirement that a candidate can only come in first in order to be elected, while in at large elections they can come in first, second, and even third and still earn a seat at the table.

  2. Richard_McCann

    That we had to choose between two of the best Council candidates that we’ve had in recent memory demonstrates the failure of district elections. Let’s hope the state Supreme Court confirms Santa Monica’s victory so we can move on.

    1. Matt Williams

      Richard, while I agree that such a confirmation would be very nice to have, that does not prevent the Council from taking the necessary first steps in consideration of and charting the path for a Council Ordinance rescinding the prior Council Ordinance that put District elections in place.  The lawyers will no doubt counsel with an abundance of caution, fearing a lawsuit, but I am of the opinion that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

      The major difference between now and the time of the Rexroad threat is that Rexroad had a good chance not only of winning his suit, but also winning a judgment for court costs and legal fees.  With the Santa Monica case on the books, the chances of a judgment for court costs and legal fees is severely reduced, and that means any lawsuit would be costly to the plaintiff.  Given Santa Monica, the plaintiff might even find themselves (if they lose the case) facing a judgment to pay the City’s court costs and legal fees.  That makes the decision to sue much much less attractive.

      In addition, it is likely the original plaintiff has moved on, so any lawyer contemplating a suit would have to find a party with standing willing to put their name on the line.

      All in all, it is time for our City Council to show leadership and proactively stand up for democracy

  3. Sharla Cheney

    Such a tough decision. Both candidates were really good. I hope Francesca continues to serve on commissions and stays active in our local politics. She has really good ideas for addressing some of the pressing problems. I welcome Donna and hope that she works to represent our District well. It’s a complex District, encompassing older residential neighborhoods, light industry areas and the downtown, with competing demands and needs.

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