Windsor school board member Esther Lemus will take a seat on the Windsor Town Council, gaining the most votes in Tuesday’s race for three council positions.
Lemus, a Sonoma County deputy district attorney, received 18.7 percent of the vote, trailed by longtime Councilman Sam Salmon with 16.3 percent and Councilman Dominic Foppoli, with 16.2 percent, with all 11 precincts tallied.
The two men were separated by 22 votes, according to election results.
While remaining mail‑in votes still have to be tallied, it appeared unlikely incumbent Mark Millan, who was in fourth place with 13.6 percent, would gain enough to move into the two three spots. Millan was trailed by challengers Rosa Reynoza, Billy Forrest and Gina Fortino-Dickson.
Lemus, who was gathered at event center Su Mole Madre on the east side of town, said she and her supporters burst into cheers when they saw the early results.
“Everyone that’s here worked so hard with me and is excited to see these numbers,” she said Tuesday night. “The night is still young but it’s certainly a good start.”
Lemus, 45, was appointed to the Windsor school board in 2015 and won election the following year. She said the lack of affordable housing is a deep concern of hers, along with public safety, traffic and parking issues.
The need to address the town’s housing crisis was a common concern among candidates and voters. Some said Windsor’s character as a family-friendly town is threatened by rising home prices and rents.
Sam Salmon said he was confident he could work with Lemus on issues such as housing. He said he believes Lemus understands his opposition to suburban sprawl, especially on the east side of town.
“She’s given indications that she understands some of my concerns,” he said.
Salmon said he spent only about $600 on his campaign, relying on his name recognition to hold onto his seat. After spending so many years on the council, putting on a big campaign would “not really be the right thing to do,” he said.
This year’s council election drew 10 candidates for three open seats, one of the more competitive races for the 26-year-old council.
You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213 or email@example.com. On Twitter @renofish.