It was a crowded field for Seaside elections: five candidates ran for two city council seas, while three fought for an open mayoral seat. Many of the candidates hit the pavement early, going door-to-door making themselves known. Others leveraged their well-established relationships. But it also got ugly. Attack ads were run, specifically against councilmember Jason Campbell, and an investigation into expenditures plagued councilmember and mayoral candidate Kayla Jones in the weeks before Election Day.
At the American Legion Post 591 in Seaside, where the hall was festively strewn with red, white and blue décor, a mix of younger and older Seaside residents socialized. Before the first results at 8pm, Ian Oglesby said he hadn’t felt nervous all day: “I feel good. I feel fantastic.”
The same confidence was also in the crowd. Lisa Lewis, a longtime resident and volunteer for Oglesby’s campaign, who came to the party still wearing her work scrubs, says for her there was no doubt Oglesby would win. “If you want to change something you vote, but before that you weigh out who has your interest in mind,” she says. “I looked at his sign and thought, ‘This is what residents have been crying about.’” (She’s referencing a campaign sign that reads, “Jobs, Housing & Water.”)
By 8:30pm, with 23 percent of the votes counted, Oglesby had a clear win. “We’re leading by 600 [votes] and we’re going to keep on leading,” he said of his 48-percent lead. Jones followed with 31 percent of the vote, while Lisa Sawhney trailed with under 20 percent. Oglesby lost to Jones in his re-election campaign for council in 2016; she’s midway through a term, so still has two years on council alongside her two-time opponent.
After a long campaign that included knocking on every door in Seaside, newcomer Jon Wizard was well-positioned to win a seat on council, with 27 percent of the vote in a five-way race. Wizard was nervous waiting for results to come in: “I look at my watch and it’s only been two minutes, but it feels like five hours.”
Campbell, the incumbent, was holding strong with 28 percent of the vote despite attack mailers funded by the California Association of Realtors. “The lowlight of the campaign has definitely been the $36,000 of dark money spent on negative ads against my campaign,” Campbell says.
In the five-way race for two seats, three other contenders trailed behind after the first round of results: Dennis Volk, who owns Mal’s Market, and social worker Regina Mason (also the Monterey County branch president for NAACP) each had around 18 percent of the vote, while pastor Sam Gaskins trailed with 8 percent.