|Nury Martinez, left, and Cindy Montanez, right; two Latinas vying to become what might be the only female on the city council|
Updated below; first posted at 9:03 pm
Early returns in tonight's most specialist election, the City Council Dstrict 6 special election, puts Cindy Montanez in first place with 46 percent of the vote, with Nury Martinez in a distant second with 18 percent.
The contest, which will choose a replacement for the now-Congressman Tony Cardenas, is an open primary. If Montanez manages to get 50 percent of the vote, she'll win the race outright. If no one reaches the 50 percent threshold, the two candidates with the most votes will face each other in a July 23 runoff.
This East Valley free-for-all includes no less than six candidates: school board member Martinez, former State Assembly member Montanez, businessman Jose Roy Garcia, 23-year-old Walter Escobar, You Tube sensation Derek Waleko and blood drive organizer Richard Valdez.
There's a real chance that come July 1, when the new City Council is sworn in (and most likely sworn at), there will be no women at all in the 15-member body. The two frontrunners in this race, Martinez and Montanez, have the best chance of breaking into the all-boys club.More »