Eight-one votes helped make Debby Moorhead Manteca’s new vice mayor.
Following tradition, the elected council member with the highest vote tally is picked to serve every two years to the appointed position. They run the meetings when the directly elected mayor - in this case Willie Weatherford - is unavailable.
Moorhead along with Steve DeBrum both were administered the oath of office for new four-year terms on Tuesday by City Clerk Joann Tilton. Moorhead in the final vote tally edged DeBrum with 8,585 votes (28.10%) to 8,504 votes (24.68%) in last month’s election. The final count for Ben Cantu was 7,541 votes (24.68%) and Sheila Raya 5,815 votes (19.03%). There were 104 write-in votes.
Moorhead was also appointed as Manteca’s representative to the San Joaquin Partnership, a quasi-public non-profit that’s tasked with luring employers to San Joaquin County.
Fellow Councilman Vince Hernandez noted it was an ideal marriage with Moorhead representing the city on the Partnership board since she is employed as the Manteca Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer.
Moorhead made history last month when she because the first woman out of four ever elected to the council to gain voter approval for a second term on the City Council.
The election means the council composition will remain unchanged as it has for the past four years. The 2014 election cycle, though is expected to see changes. Weatherford and Councilman John Harris have both indicated they are not planning to seek re-election. Councilman Vince Hernandez has not yet indicated his intentions.