Wilson, Motts take slight leads in early Antioch City Council results

Voters here are choosing among seven candidates in a hotly contested race for two district seats on the City Council that will likely determine whether it continues to lean progressive or tilt to the right. Early results, however, show it’s too early to say which direction it might lean.

Initial results indicate incumbent Antioch Councilwoman Monica Wilson has a slight edge over colleague Lori Ogorchock in District 4, while former Councilwoman Joy Motts has a small lead in a three-way race in District 1.

In District 4, challengers Shawn Pickett and Sandra White are trailing significantly behind the incumbents, each with about half of their votes. In District 1, the votes are closer, with Diane Gibson-Gray and incumbent Tamisha Torres-Walker each roughly garnering one-third of the vote in initial results.

The initial vote count includes early in-person votes and mail-in ballots though voters only have to have ther ballots postmarked by Tuesday to have them counted. Additional reports will be released almost every hour until 1 a.m., according to officials.

The two incumbents are facing off this time because of redistricting, which moved Ogorchock into Wilson’s territory for this election. If Ogorchock loses, however, she would stay on the council, serving the remainder of her two years in District 3. If she wins, the council could appoint someone or call for a special election to fill her old seat.

At stake are some of the recent reforms, such as rent stabilization and new transitional housing for the homeless, which a new more conservative majority could revisit if either Wilson or Torres-Walker are defeated. Wilson, Torres-Walker and Mayor Lamar Thorpe currently make up a progressive majority on the council.

Wilson has advocated for many reform measures, including launching a new mental health crisis team for low-level 911 calls, a police oversight committee, transitional housing for the homeless and rent stabilization. Ogorchock, a Realtor, focused on public safety and voted against rent stabilization and the transitional housing, preferring to work with social services for those in need.

Challenger Pickett meanwhile is a retired Richmond police officer whose emphasis is on public safety, though which direction he would consistently tip the scales on other issues is a little less clear. White, who ran unsuccessfully in 2020, is being touted as a candidate who would more likely side with a more conservative majority. A human resources vice president, she also focused on public safety and pushed for more detox beds for the homeless.

In District 1, Torres-Walker focused on violence prevention and economic development and helping launch a new public safety and community resources department, supporting a police oversight committee and establishing a mental health crisis team, plus transitional housing for the homeless and rent stabilization.

Motts, who served for two years on the council before losing to Walker, advocated for transitional housing for the homeless. A longtime community volunteer, she said it’s time to beef up and support the city’s police department and code enforcement.

Gibson-Gray, meanwhile, agreed crime is a critical issue and needs to be a primary focus as does hiring more officers. She was against the new transitional housing for the homeless and said pursuing state Homekey funding was a better idea.


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Author: Judith Prieve