By Miriam Raftery
Photo: El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and La Mesa Mayor Mark Araposthis are winning their reelection bids
November 8, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Early results after polls closed tonight indicate incumbents heading for reelection in La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove.
The power of incumbency proved stronger than partisan politics. Though city races are nonpartisan, political parties endorsed candidates and expended resources walking precincts to campaign for their parties' choices. But incumbents in both parties hold solid leads, though Democrats appear likely to pick up a seat in both the La Mesa and Lemon Grove Council races, following the retirement of Republican incumbents.
El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, a Republican, has a solid 71.25% of the votes tallied so far; his opponent, realtor Arnie Levine, a Democrat, has 28.75%. The Mayor ran on a track record of boosting revenues through bringing in new hotels and reopening the performing arts center, while Levine criticized Mayor Wells’ defiance of public health business shutdown mandates duringthe pandemic. El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick ran unopposed, drawing 100% of the votes. But El Cajon’s Measure P which the Mayor supports, to increase the city sales tax to a penny per dollar, is losing 58% to 42%.