San Bernardino City Council Ward 3 candidate John Valdivia, front right, reacts to hearing early election results shortly after 8:15pm at Gourmet Restaurant in San Bernardino. (RODRIGO PENA/FREE-LANCE PHOTOGRAPHER)


Published: 08 November 2011 06:48 PM

San Bernardino’s city elections on Tuesday evening went just like Jim Penman would have scripted them:

Penman, the six-term city attorney, defeated former San Bernardino County Public Defender David McKenna. Two Penman allies on the City Council, Wendy McCammack in Ward 7 and Chas Kelley in Ward 5, won easily. And John Valdivia, a Penman-endorsed challenger to Ward 3 incumbent Tobin Brinker, won handily as well.

Amelia Sanchez Lopez, who shared Penman-funded campaign signs with the city attorney, was the leader among the five city clerk candidates and will be in a Feb. 7 runoff against Gigi Hanna.

Ward 6 Councilman Rikke Van Johnson and City Treasurer David Kennedy ran unopposed and were re-elected.

Four of the seven current council members have been aligned with Mayor Pat Morris. Now four of the seven will be aligned with Penman when they are sworn in March 5.

“I’m very grateful to the people of San Bernardino and I’m proud to represent them,” Penman said, “and we will finish the investigations we have been doing, and if we find the people were falsely accused, we will clear them, and if we find there is basis for the accusation, they will be prosecuted according to law.”

Penman has said that three unidentified people at City Hall are under investigation but has not elaborated. Some of his opponents questioned whether the investigations were real or whether he was trying to drum up votes from people fearful of corruption at City Hall.

He survived a late run of unflattering news coverage, negative-campaign ads from McKenna and accusations of bullying on Mayor Pat Morris’ Facebook page.

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