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Incumbents maintain strong leads in Costa Mesa Sanitary and Mesa Water district board races

Incumbents maintain strong leads in Costa Mesa Sanitary and Mesa Water district board races
Top: Costa Mesa Sanitary District board candidates, from left, Bob Ooten, Arlene Schafer, Mike Scheafer and David Snyder. Bottom: Candidates for the Mesa Water District board, from left, Marice DePasquale, Shawn Dewane and Anna Vrska. Not pictured: Ryan James Ferryman. (Courtesy Photos)

Incumbents in both the Costa Mesa Sanitary and Mesa Water districts seemed well on their way to reelection as they continued to hold sizable leads over their opponents early Wednesday, according to figures from the Orange County registrar of voters office.

As of midnight, sanitary district board members Bob Ooten, Arlene Schafer and Mike Scheafer were running well ahead of the one challenger in the race, David Snyder.

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The same held true for Mesa Water’s incumbents, Marice DePasquale and Shawn Dewane, in their races against Ryan James Ferryman and Anna Vrska, respectively.

In the sanitary district, Schafer continued to be the top vote-getter, pulling in 30.4%. Scheafer and Ooten were nipping at her heels with 29.5% and 27.1%, respectively.

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Snyder, however, found himself staring at a significant deficit, pulling in only 13%.

DePasquale more than doubled Ferryman’s total, receiving 67.9% of the votes to his 32.1%.

Dewane held a smaller but still sizable 65.3% to 34.7% advantage over Vrska.

Mesa Water provides service to about 110,000 people in Costa Mesa, parts of Newport Beach and sections of unincorporated Orange County, while the sanitary district provides sewer and curbside trash collection services to roughly 116,700 ratepayers in a similar area.

Though their boundaries are largely the same, the two districts currently use different methods for electing representatives to their five-member boards. Mesa Water’s are elected using voting divisions, meaning each member is chosen by voters who live in the particular area the member represents.

DePasquale and Ferryman were facing off to represent Division 3, which covers northern Costa Mesa, including the Halecrest neighborhood and South Coast Metro. Dewane and Vrska were seeking the seat in Division 5, which includes lower Eastside Costa Mesa and portions of the city’s downtown and Westside.

The sanitary district, on the other hand, chooses its board members at large, meaning residents can vote for any candidate. However, the agency also will move to voting districts for its board elections starting in 2020.

A third Mesa Water seat was originally supposed to be on this year’s ballot, but that race was canceled when no one signed up to run against current board President Jim Atkinson. He will serve an additional four-year term as the representative of Division 4, which includes Costa Mesa’s College Park, Mesa del Mar and Monticello communities.

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