Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this


By Miriam Raftery

Photo,left:  Stephen Houlahan

November 9, 2016 (Santee) – With 36% of precincts counted,  Councilman John Minto,a retired police officer, is maintaining a 10 point lead over felow Councilman and realtor Rob McNellis in the race to become Santee’s next Mayor.  Current Mayor Randy Voepel tonight won election handily  to the State Assembly over Leo Hamel.

Though Santee’s Council has long been heavily influenced by developers and real estate interests, Stephen Houlahan,  running on an environmental platform,  appears likely to defeat  two pro-development opponents.

Houlahan currently had 39% of the vote. Mason Herron, Assemblyman Brian Jones’ aide who attracted hefty contributions from  developers and out-of-town donors, has 31%, while Dustin Trotter,  a contractor, has 30%. 

Houlahan led the successful campaign to stop the Quail Brush gas power plant near Mission Trails Regional Park and has pledged to end traffic gridlock in Santee.  He was backed by Preserve Wild Santee, which has fought  to protect open spaces and oppose sprawling development in the community.

If elected he will fill a vacancy left by the retirement of  Councilman Jack Dale.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at


"won handily" ?

"Current Mayor Randy Voepel tonight won election handily to the State Assembly over Leo Hamel" - you forgot to mention that Leo Hamel dropped out of the race even before the primaries. I wonder what would have happened had Leo Hamel won!