Brian McCarthy

Brian McCarthy, a member of the Planning Commission, ran unopposed for City Council District 1.

In the only contested City Council race in Marina, Liesbeth Visscher, chair of the group Citizens for Just Water, has an 8-percent lead against Les Martin, a Navy retiree, to represent District 4. As of the ballot count at 5 on Friday, Nov. 11, Visscher leads with 461 votes over Martin's 376.

It is the only contested seat on the ballot, but Marina City Council will have two new members. Planning Commissioners Brian McCarthy ran uncontested for the District 1 seat. McCarthy was one of five residents who applied in 2020 to fill a vacant at-large seat after former councilmember Adam Urrutia moved away.

David Burnett was appointed by council to that seat, but based on the process of transitioning from an at-large to district-based elections, he was not eligible to run for the seat because he does not live in District 1.

This was his McCarthy's first run for office. He received 713 votes at the most recent count. 

Mayor Bruce Delgado also ran unopposed for re-election to a seventh term; it was his first time running unopposed. 

While campaigning, Visscher was also busy with her efforts to stop Cal Am's proposed desalination plant in Marina, which heads to the California Coastal Commission on Thursday, Nov. 17. “We now are extremely busy, asking Marina residents to send emails to the California Coastal Commission to oppose the project, and to attend the hearing,” she writes via email. She had a small watch party on election night at her home in The Dunes.

Martin also ran for a different district two years ago, the one Councilmember Cristina Medina Dirksen currently represents. In February, the council approved new electoral districts based on the 2020 census. For months, the city did extensive community outreach and received 59 maps, a high number for a city of its size. (The focus for the new maps was on keeping communities of interest together, rather than protecting incumbents based on their address.)

The first time the city created districts, in 2019, critics argued the selected map favored incumbent council members, with each of their addresses in a different district. Meanwhile, it divided neighborhoods, known in redistricting as communities of interest.

The new map put current councilmembers Lisa Berkley and David Burnett in Kathy Biala’s and Medina Dirksen’s districts, respectively. Since Medina Dirksen and Biala are not up for reelection—both have two years left of a four-year term—neither Berkley nor Burnett was able to run in 2022. 

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