CERES — One candidate was leading the incumbent in the City Council race Tuesday night, but with two seats available, both were happy with the returns.
Linda Ryno and incumbent Ken Lane were expected to win the election, with 39 percent and 32 percent of the vote, respectively. The third person vying for one of the two seats, Hugo Molina, trailed with 29 percent of the vote, with 96 percent of the precincts reporting.
Ryno, 59, attributed her lead to grass-roots efforts: going door to door and talking to residents about their concerns and encouraging them to vote.
She and her husband and friends visited nearly 2,000 homes during one week. They were having a small celebration Tuesday. Im pretty excited. I think people realize you really do want to be on the council if you go and spend as much time hitting the streets as we did, she said.
If elected, Ryno said the first thing she would do as a council member is meet with department heads and really find out what has changed in the three years I have been gone (from her city job) to get really familiar with the city structure.
Ryno worked for the city for nearly 30 years as an administrative secretary in the Planning Department. Her husband, Sam, is medically retired from the Ceres Police Department.
It will be Lanes third term if vote percentages stay consistent as the final ballots are counted. Before being elected to the council in 2005, Lane served eight years on the Planning Commission.
A 53-year-old lifetime resident of Ceres, Lane works as a sales manager for an office-supply company in Modesto. It is a privilege once again to serve the citizens of Ceres, he said from an election party at River Oaks Golf Course on Tuesday night.
Molina, a 35-year-old owner of an insurance company and member of the Planning Commission, said hes happy with the way he campaigned. I do feel like I approached Nov. 5 with all I had, he said. I am happy and confident and comfortable with the work I did.
Molina also ran unsuccessfully for a half-term City Council seat in 2011. He said it is too soon to decide if he will run again in the future.
All the candidates said economic development was a top priority.
Ryno wants to focus on bringing businesses to Ceres downtown by marketing its convenient location just off Highway 99. She said blight also must be addressed to attract business to any part of the city.
Lane said he wants to draw businesses to areas once slated for development but abandoned in the recession, like along Mitchell Road.
Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2366.