Coronado had a group of dedicated and talented candidates run for office in this 2020 election. Each of the candidates made it known that they had the best interests of the city or school district at heart. Currently, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters shows that the county had an 81% voter turnout and that 96% of county votes have been tallied. Although final counts and election results are not official yet, many of Coronado’s candidates have reached out to thank their supporters and the community now that election day has passed.
For the position of mayor, current Mayor Richard Bailey initially ran unopposed for his second term. Shortly before the election though, long-time resident Kirk Horvath filed papers as a write-in candidate. He said he did it “to wake the people of Coronado up, to encourage them to ask questions and get involved.”
In a post-election Facebook post, Mayor Bailey shared, “Thank you, Coronado! . . . I was incredibly honored to officially be re-elected mayor of Coronado. To be trusted with the responsibility of leading our city is incredibly humbling and I look forward to working with the entire community to navigate the challenges ahead and move Coronado forward.”
Coronado City Council (Two Seats)
The race for two city council seats had four candidates running. Currently in the lead are former mayor and councilmember Casey Tanaka and current councilmember Mike Donovan.
Tanaka shared a post-election message on Facebook, “The results for our 2020 Coronado City Council election will not be certified until early December, but I want to thank the people of this wonderful city for again putting their faith in me to represent them . . . I decided to run for the City Council this year, because I wanted to put everything I had learned over the two decades back to work for the people of Coronado. I am truly grateful to have this opportunity to serve you again. I will do my best to listen to the public and its concerns. I will also do my best to communicate with our citizenry about the work being done by this city and its staff. I am excited to be your Councilman again and I am thankful to represent you on your City Council.”
When asked to share a comment to the community, Donovan said, “While I feel very positive about where I stand with the current vote count status, I am awaiting the final results and confirmation of my re-election. If I am fortunate enough to remain on the council for another four-year term, I will continue to make decisions and take positions that support preserving residential quality of life here in our great city.”
Council candidate John Duncan also posted a community message on Facebook, “To my supporters, thank you so much and be very proud of what you accomplished . . . with a first time candidate during a pandemic [it’s] impressive, and I am very humbled and grateful for your faith in me . . . I think my candidacy and focus on hard work and a deep understanding of the issues did have a strong impact on the race and sharpened interest in certain issues. I look forward to finding ways to continue to serve our community. I sincerely wish the best to all the citizens of Coronado. As to running again, I have no certain plans but will definitely consider it in the future as I enjoyed it very much and met so many good people.”
Council candidate and long-time resident Tim Rohan took to Facebook as well, “I want to take this opportunity to ask that we all get behind our new council, so we all can make Coronado the best place on earth to live. I would also suggest that we continue to demand open and honest communication from our elected officials, not just responses . . . I would be remiss in not thanking everyone who supported my candidacy. Whether you gave money, time, or advice, you helped make this a truly amazing experience. Honestly, I can’t thank you enough.”
Coronado School Board (Two Seats)
The Coronado Unified School District (CUSD) board race had five candidates looking to fill two vacancies. In the lead as of November 8 were Stacy Keszei and Whitney Antrim, only 36 votes apart, and with a lead of just over 300 votes over the next candidate.
In an email to her supporters, Antrim said, “Running for school board was never about me, it was and will continue to be about our town and our students. . . I’m honored to be given the opportunity to be a part of Coronado’s story as we navigate many new challenges. We have a lot of work ahead of us and I am ready for the challenge. . . Your faith in me and our campaign’s vision is not something I take lightly. My sincerest thanks to you for making it possible for me to get here. This victory is not mine alone, but ours. You helped us get across the finish line and for that I am so grateful.”
Keszei preferred to wait until official counts are complete to comment.
In a Facebook post, school board candidate Alexia Palacios-Peters said, “The unofficial election results are in and while they aren’t what we expected or wanted, I am proud of the campaign that I ran and the effort we put forth. While some ballots may remain to be counted from Coronado and could change some numbers, I wish my competitors well and good luck to whoever gets the honor of serving our community.”
Running on a platform of knowledge in finance and diversity, candidate Nick Kato was looking forward to helping CUSD secure its financial future and navigate racial diversity challenges. On Facebook he shared, “Thanks again to everyone for their support…[I] learned so much during this process.” He added, “I still want to find ways to be involved in a collaborative effort to make a meaningful difference.”
Candidate Mike Canada did not respond to our request for a comment by press time.
The election results will be certified by December 3 and City Clerk Jennifer Ekblad will present them to the Coronado City Council on December 15, 2020.