Election Day was a mixed bag for city council incumbents in West Contra Costa, as Richmond re-elected both who were on the ballot and Hercules showed two of three the door.

El Cerrito's three candidates, including one incumbent, faced no opponents; Pinole re-elected both; and San Pablo re-elected two while the third was trailing a challenger for the final spot on the council.

An undetermined number of mail-in ballots remained to be counted as of Wednesday.

With all precincts reporting, incumbent Nat Bates was the top vote-getter in Richmond with 17.9 percent of the vote, followed by incumbent Tom Butt at 15.6 percent and Gary Bell at 15.2 percent. Bates and Bell received heavy financial backing from Chevron during the election.

Eduardo Martinez, a member of the city's progressive alliance, was next at 14.2 percent, and fellow progressive Marilyn Langlois had 11.2 percent. The other six candidates were well short of 10 percent.

Bates, Butt and Bell will have a seat on the council beginning in January.

Bell announced his victory on his Facebook page Wednesday morning.

"It looks like we made it happen!" Bell wrote. "Thank you all who supported this campaign."

Bell, 54, a credit union manager, was first elected to the council in 2003 but lost his seat when he lost a bid for mayor in 2006.

In Hercules, Dan Romero, the current mayor, was the only one of three incumbents re-elected, running second behind challenger Sherry McCoy.


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Incumbent Gerard Boulanger was seventh and last, while incumbent William Wilkins was fourth, more than 200 votes behind challenger Bill Kelly as of Wednesday afternoon. Challengers Hector Rubio and Phil Simmons were fifth and sixth, respectively.

The three incumbents have served on the council only since June 2011, when Boulanger and Wilkins were elected to replace two council members whom voters recalled in the wake of the city's deteriorating financial condition. That month, Romero beat McCoy and another candidate for a seat vacated by a third recall target who resigned.

Boulanger had been dogged since that election by revelations that he padded his résumé with fictitious achievements such as university degrees and service on a government board in his native France.

Wilkins had been targeted along with the two other incumbents by Councilwoman Myrna de Vera, who faces re-election in 2014. De Vera supported McCoy, Rubio and Simmons, and her husband, Manuel de Vera, launched two political action committees to defeat the incumbents and support the couple's three preferred challengers. In the end, two of the de Veras' targets got knocked off, but only one of their choices won.

"I think that the challengers made a better case for election than I did," Wilkins said in an email Wednesday. "I wish them well and want them to remember that they represent the interest of the entire community, not special interests."

In El Cerrito, Jan Bridges, Mark Friedman and incumbent Greg Lyman were automatically elected. In Pinole, Mayor Peter Murray and Councilman Roy Swearingen fought off a challenge by Ivette Ricco; and in San Pablo, Kathy Chao Rothberg and Cecilia Valdez, the current mayor, were re-elected, while Leonard McNeil trailed challenger Rich Kinney by 74 votes as of late Wednesday for the third available seat.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760 or tlochner@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at twitter.com/tomlochner.