It was a good year to be an incumbent in most East Contra Costa council races, as all but one person retained their seats following this week's elections.
Tuesday's election also brought large changes to Oakley and Antioch city leadership, with Wade Harper named Antioch's new mayor and newcomers Doug Hardcastle and Diane Burgis elected to vacant Oakley seats.
Harper, Antioch's Mayor Pro Tem, amassed 40.9 percent of the vote with all of the precincts reporting.
Incumbent Mary Rocha, the lone Antioch councilmember seeking re-election, won a second term on the Antioch City Council, while newcomer Monica Wilson appears to have won the other seat. Current Mayor Jim Davis, who opted against a mayoral run this time out, was trailing by less than 1 percent. Mail-in-ballots had yet to be counted by deadline Wednesday afternoon.
"I'm looking forward to the next four years and working as a team," Rocha said. "With Wade coming in as mayor, we're all going to have to figure out how to pick up Antioch and move forward."
"I'm glad I'll have an opportunity to put back some of the things that we had to take away during my first term," said Rocha, speaking about the last few years of city budget and staffing cuts.
In Oakley, Hardcastle led the six candidates with 21.9 percent of the vote, while Burgis has 20 percent. Incumbent Kevin Romick also won a seat with 17 percent of the vote.
"It just proves you can get in there without a bunch of donations or endorsements or bad-mouthing people," said Hardcastle, a small-business owner.
His platform was simple: Hardcastle says he respects people and their ideas.
" ... and have an open ear -- I listen well," he said.
Brentwood and Pittsburg's city councils will remain much the same.
Incumbents Ben Johnson and Will Casey won re-election bids in Pittsburg, defeating two challengers.
"I think we did our jobs. What we did over the last eight years has been substantial," said Johnson, who garnered the highest number of votes in what is his third and final run for office.
Bob Taylor was again elected mayor in Brentwood by almost a 2-to-1 margin. In the council race, Erick Stonebarger was re-elected, while newcomer Gene Clare defeated sitting councilman Bob Brockman.
"The people have always made the right decision. The people have always treated myself and my family in the proper manner. I try to give my city 100 percent," Taylor said.
Staff writers Rowena Coetsee, Paula King and Eve Mitchell contributed to this story.
For more updates on the election, go to www.contracostatimes.com