Zepeda wins District 2 election tie-breaker after name pulled from paper bag

Cesar Zepeda wins District 2 election after name pulled from a paper bag
Photo courtesy of Cesar Zepeda's campaign.

By Mike Kinney

Cesar Zepeda was declared winner in the stalemate election for the District 2 seat on Richmond City Council today after the City Clerk pulled his name from a red paper bag in an unusual tie-breaker.

In the November election, Zepeda and his opponent Andrew Butt received the same number of votes: 1,921. Under Richmond City Council’s June 2022 resolution, such a tie requires the names of both candidates to be placed in a sealed unmarked envelope. The City Clerk then randomly selects one of the envelopes. The candidate whose name is in the envelope is declared the winner.

That’s essentially how it went down. Both candidates signed their names to blank cards, which were then immediately placed into matching envelopes and dropped into a red paper bag.  Both candidates each shook the bag and City Clerk Pamela Christian shook it, as well.

Both candidates shook hands and waited to hear the announcement who had won the tie-breaker. The City Clerk pulled the envelope out of the bag and stated that Zepeda will be the new District 2 City Council member.

The District 2 councilmember represents areas of the city including portions of Hilltop, North Richmond, Point Richmond and parts of Marina Bay.

Following his victory, Zepeda issued this statement.

“I look forward to working together with everyone in District 2, and our city, to heal and bridge our communities.  I want to start working for everyone, making our economic engine stronger by bringing in more business, increasing public safety and housing. 

I look forward to hearing from everyone in District 2 about their concerns, issues, questions, and ideas on how to make our district thrive together. 

I will be creating an advisory committee for District 2, comprised or residents of every neighborhood council to help advice me on issues and concerns from every corner of the district.  I will also be looking to create a website for people to share their issues, concerns, and questions about District 2. I’m hoping for it to be a place where residents can let me know of any issues that need to be addressed in their immediate community; from potholes, lights out, to future bigger projects like speed bumps, and roundabouts.

It is an honor to be given the opportunity to continue to serve our community. I hope to be able to earn the trust and confidence of every resident in our district.” 

Other winners in the November election for seats on Richmond City Council include Eduardo Martinez (Mayor), Doria Robinson (District 3), and Soheila Bana (District 4).