Rebeca Armendariz and Zach Hilton are set to join the Gilroy City Council. Submitted photo

Two newcomers are set to join the Gilroy City Council based on early results.

With more than half of the ballots counted, Zach Hilton maintains a first-place standing in the five-person council race.

As of 10am Nov. 4, Hilton received 7,834 votes, or 25.02 percent of the total amount of votes counted.

Three will be elected to the council. Rounding out the top three are incumbent Fred Tovar with 7,211 votes and Rebeca Armendariz with 6,357.

Incumbent Carol Marques finds herself 1,001 votes away from the top three. Danny Mitchell remains in fifth place with 4,551 votes.

Hilton, a City of Oakland firefighter/paramedic who currently serves as chair of the Gilroy Bicycle Pedestrian Commission, thanked his supporters for helping lead him to victory.

“The role that our commission plays in the community makes me proud each day,” he said. “Along that journey I saw too many missed opportunities and I am proud to say today that with all the support and love from you all, we will finally have a seat at the table.” 

Armendariz is on her way to joining the council after an unsuccessful run in 2012. She is a founding board member and current president of CARAS, a nonprofit that focuses on advocacy, service and cultural events. She also served on the Gilroy Planning Commission, Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee and Parks and Recreation Commission. 

“I am so humbled and grateful to all of my community for believing in me and supporting me in this effort,” she said. “Every volunteer who walked, made phone calls or spoke to their neighbors made this happen. I am especially proud to have had so many dedicated young people and union members volunteer, week after week. They are truly an inspiration to me.”

The three leading vote-getters in the contest are all endorsed by the Santa Clara County Democratic Party, with Hilton and Armendariz backed by various unions.

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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