11:48 PM PDT on Tuesday, May 24, 2011

By ALICIA ROBINSON
The Press-Enterprise

A little less than two weeks remain to vote in the Riverside City Council mail-only election in wards 1, 3, 5 and 7.

As of Tuesday, about 12 percent of the ballots had been returned in three of the wards; Ward 3 was slightly higher at about 15 percent, according to data provided by the city.

That response rate seems a little low for this point in the election cycle when compared with previous years, City Clerk Colleen Nicol said.

In the 2007 election for the same seats, final turnout was nearly 36 percent in Ward 1; more than 39 percent in Ward 3; close to 38 percent in Ward 5; and about 28 percent in Ward 7, Nicol said.

Incumbents are seeking re-election in all four wards. Ward 1 Councilman Mike Gardner faces challengers Dom Betro, a former councilman; teacher Dvonne Pitruzzello; and transportation executive Marisa Valdez Yeager.

In Ward 3, Councilman William “Rusty” Bailey is vying against fabrication inspector Jim Davis to hold the seat. Ward 5 Councilman Chris Mac Arthur is running unopposed.

Ward 7 Councilman Steve Adams is seeking a third term. His challengers are UPS driver John Brandriff and former mayor and councilwoman Terry Frizzel.

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