By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Torres-O’Callaghan& Diallo in battle for Lathrop council seat
transit vote
Hand sanitizers, such as this one at the entrance to the Manteca Transit Station voting center, and marks were the order of the day on Election Day

If the election results hold, both Jennifer Torres-O’Callaghan and Minnie “Cotton” Diallo will both be serving four-year terms on the Lathrop City Council for the first time.

Based on early returns on Tuesday, Torres-O’Callaghan – who was elected to the council in 2018 to serve the remainder of an unexpired term – led all council candidates with 2,203 votes or 37.5 percent of the overall vote.

Diallo, who had run unsuccessful multiple times for the council in the past, had amassed 2,060 votes or 35.07 percent of the overall vote – nearly 20 percent more than the third place candidate.

The top two vote getters will serve on the council through 2024.

Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal, who was running unopposed despite having multiple people take out paperwork to challenge him for his seat, amassed 97.4 percent of all votes cast for Lathrop mayor to formally lock up his fifth term at the helm of the fast-growing city. There were 90 uncertified votes cast in that race as of 12:01 a.m. today.

Christopher Lee Sandoval, a political newcomer, was trailing in third place with 951 votes or 16.51 percent of the vote, while Rajkanwal Singh Nagra – also a political novice – was in last place in the race with 647 votes or 11.01 percent of the vote.

Dhaliwal had lobbied hard for both Torres-O’Callaghan and Diallo on social media in the weeks leading up to the race, and both had secured the endorsement of the Lathrop Manteca Firefighters Association and various other local organizations.

While the campaign was a relatively tame one, Nagra did create slight controversy when a social media post where he appears to say that he would have actively worked to undo Lathrop’s Measure C – the one cent sales tax increase that voters overwhelmingly approved in 2012 – if elected. When asked about the nature of that post, Nagra said that it was being taken out of context and what he meant to say was that if the city secured additional revenue streams Measure C could be revisited.

That leaves Diane Lazard and Paul Akinjo as the council persons that will round out what will likely be the city’s governing body for the next two years. Akinjo appears to be trailing is his bid to unseat California Assemblyman Heath Flora for the State’s 12th district. If he were to close that gap and unseat the popular Flora, a Republican, that would create an additional vacancy on the Lathrop City Council that the incoming council would have to decide how to fill.

In the past, the council has opted to appoint the next leading vote getter in the most recent election to fill the seat until the next regularly-scheduled election – which, if it were to happen, would result in four of the five seats on the council, including mayor, being up for election in 2022.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.