After tallying the final votes Tuesday night, Jesus Silva and Ahmad Zahra were elected to Fullerton city council.
The election marked the first time in Fullerton’s history that by-district elections of council members have taken place.
On Dec. 13, 2016, the city council enacted Measure II, which established by-district elections in Districts 3 and 5.
Voters in the remaining three districts will vote for a city council member to represent their respective districts in November 2020.
With over 4,000 votes, Councilman Silva was elected to represent District 3 in Fullerton city council with 50 percent of the vote. Former Mayor Pro Tem Greg Sebourn finished second with 41 percent of the vote while Nickolas Wildstar received 8 percent of the vote as the third candidate.
Silva, who was elected as a council member in 2016, is an advocate for funding the Fox Fullerton Theatre and saving both the Hunt Library and the Coyote Hills Golf Course.
“I look to fulfill the will of the residents when they voted 62 percent to save Coyote Hills. I was the only member initially to vote in favor of SB 714,” Silva said during a candidate forum meeting last month.
SB 714 would establish the West Coyote Hills Conservancy Program. The program would help with the improvement of public access and the protection, restoration and enhancement of natural resources in the area.
Meanwhile, in a tight race among five new candidates, Ahmad Zahra became the representative for District 5 on the Fullerton city council with 32 percent of the vote. Finishing second was Vicki Calhoun with 27 percent. Rounding out the rest of the vote was Johnny Ybarra with 21 percent and Sabrina Narain with 6 percent.
Paulette Marshall Chaffee received 12 percent even after she suspended her campaign last month.
Zahra, who was born and raised in Syria, is a small business owner of Zahra Pictures LLC, a film production company rooted in Fullerton. He also led the effort for the Clean & Green City Resolution to reaffirm Fullerton’s commitment to fighting pollution and climate change, according to his website.
Besides advocating for environmental preservation, Zahra said he is also trying to revitalize the local economy and tackle poverty in Fullerton.
“My big passion is child poverty,” Zahra said during a candidate forum on Oct. 9.
Zahra said he ran because of a promise he made to the little girls that were digging in his dumpsters for plastic bottles.
“We have about 170 homeless kids in our school district now, which is due to the economic situation in South Fullerton that I would like to improve,” Zahra said.
Zahra said he would improve the local economy by supporting business and economic development, lowering fees on community centers and providing affordable housing for every level of income.