Approximately an hour after the polls closed last night, the Desert Dispatch reported that "Early results favor Dale for mayor." But, while Dale won among absentee voters (typically the first ballots counted after the polls close), throughout the course of the evening, as the Registrar of Voters continued to count ballots, Gomez played catch-up and at the time this post was updated, the Semi-Final Results posted on the Registrar's Web site indicate Gomez has eclipsed Dale's early lead and is ahead now by more than 450 votes:
- Joe D. Gomez (Mayor-elect)
2385 votes (45.72%)
Lawrence E. Dale (defeated incumbent)
1886 votes (35.99%)
Nathaniel H. Pickett
969 votes (18.49%)
Since Dale was first elected in 2000, he had championed Indian gaming in Barstow; however, throughout his tenure he used his mayoral powers and resorted to other extreme measures to guarantee Detroit-based BarWest would have the exclusive rights to develop any Indian casino that would be built in Barstow. Dale often battled with Gomez and other Council members as he was relentless in his attempts to block proposals by any other casino developers.
Arguably, Barstow's economy has been struggling for a generation. Dale inherited the problem but has realized little to improve things. Unfortunately, the economic development plans he hatched during his first term as Mayor had a BarWest Casino Resort as the cornerstone. And eight years later, despite false hopes and promises made to voters by Dale and BarWest over and over again, BarWest repeatedly hit road blocks, failing to get the necessary state and federal approvals for its various schemes.
originally posted 11.05.08 @ 7:46 AM; ballot counts were updated @ 12:22 PM ; ballot counts updated again on 11.10.08 when the Registrar of Voters posted another 622 votes in the race (% outcomes virtually unchanged).