They couldn’t have known it at the time but the Long Beach firefighters who brought the six precincts’ ballot boxes into City Hall Tuesday night turned out to be a good omen for the mayoral race winner.
The city elected one of their own, George Bass, the former Long Beach fire chief of 35 years.
Bass won 61 percent of the vote, according to unofficial tallies.
With six candidates in the Republican primary, a runoff was expected, but won’t be necessary. Bass beat three aldermen and “political outsider” Kevin Nelson for the mayor’s seat.
There is no challenger in the general election so the primary winner takes the seat.
The city will certify election results May 10.
In the aldermen races, all the Republican primary winners have won their seats. They are Ron Robertson in Ward 1, incumbent Bernie Parker in Ward 2, incumbent Kelly Griffin in Ward 3, Timothy Gene McCaffrey Jr. in Ward 4, Mark Lishen in Ward 5, Tricia Bennett in Ward 6, and Donald Frazer, alderman-at-large.
Billie Skellie, who was mayor for 13 years, announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election.
Economic development was the principal issue for most of the candidates in the mayoral primary. Plans to increase development varied among the candidates, though, as some heralded the possible addition of a casino while others offered skepticism.
All offered support for tax abatements on residential and commercial properties in varying forms.
Bass suggested the city has in large part failed at expanding economic development, and promised a new approach.
He won convincingly. He received more votes than any candidate in every ward in the city. His lowest vote total was 228 votes in Ward 3, but it was still 50 more votes than second-place finisher Leonard Carrubba’s highest ward total of 173 votes. Bass did best in Ward 5, where he received 523 votes, or 73 percent.
Bass couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Gary J. Pontheiux
Ronnie Hammons Jr.
Ward 1, Republican
Robert E. Kennedy
Ward 2, Republican
Bernie Parker (I)
Josh M. Ruth
Ward 3, Republican
Kelly Griffin (I)
Ward 4, Republican
Timothy Gene McCaffrey Jr.
David Braud Sr.
Ward 6, Republican
James Rodney Johnson