Boyd G. Condie easily defeated two opponents Tuesday in a hotly contested race for a seat on the Alhambra City Council.
Condie finished first with 7,361 votes, or 41.8%; J. William Orozco finished second with 5,877 votes, or 33.4%, and Allen Co finished third with 4,358 votes, or 24.8%.
Mayor Talmage V. Burke was unopposed in his reelection bid for a council seat. The mayor’s position is rotated among council member every 9 months.
Orozco said in an interview Wednesday that Condie’s family connections and the money that he spent on the race helped him win. Condie and Councilwoman Mary Louise Bunker are distant relatives and have a great-grandfather in common.
“Relatives can win an election for you,” Orozco said. “I have to accept the money and relationships because I’ve been in politics all my life. The one running him will be Mary Louise Bunker.”
But Condie said Wednesday that he may have lost some support because of his ties to Bunker.
“I think the biggest negative people perceived was the close relationship between myself and Bunker,” Condie said, adding, “I had a lot of good support. That’s what made the difference.”
Condie said that his goals include ridding the city of pornography, repealing the utility users tax and working on the area’s traffic congestion.
“I’m not an advocate of slow-growth, I’m an advocate of controlled growth,” Condie said. “We need traffic pattern improvements.”
Orozco said he will not run for the council again. But he said he does “intend to closely monitor the council.” A close-knit council will have too much power, he warned. “What it means for the City Council is great trouble ahead.”
Co said his stand against a ballot measure to fund a new police station hurt his chances.
His position, Co said, was misrepresented by the Alhambra Committee to Preserve Strong Police Protection, which distributed flyers saying he was “knowingly trying to mislead Alhambrans.”
The flyer “created damage,” Co said. “That’s why I lost so bad.” Co also said he didn’t get a good reception from some voters because of his Asian heritage. Co said he is not thinking of running again but will continue to be active in the community.
Voters also defeated a measure backed by Condie that would have authorized a $16.6-million bond issue to finance a new police station. The measure failed by a vote of 9,734 to 8,743.
Condie attributed the measure’s failure to “bad publicity and public perceptions of frivolous spending.”
However, Condie was not discouraged. “I think we need to go about it a different way. It needs to be a grass-roots effort. The public needs to be involved.”