Incumbents Pacheco, Su win hard-fought Walnut City Council race

Incumbents Robert Pacheco and Mary Su swept to victory Tuesday night in one of the most contested and expensive races in city history.

Pacheco, 79, the elder statesman who served on the City Council and then in the state Assembly only to return to the city last year, and Su, 55, the eight-year incumbent and a leader in the Asian community, won by a wide margin.

In a victory speech at Pacheco/Su headquarters Tuesday night, the former assemblyman denounced the big spenders and an attempt to influence the Walnut election from Sacramento.

“We want to make this city grow and make it free of bad influences,” he began. “They tried to take us down and they failed big time! Walnut is ours! It is the people’s city.”

A relieved Su said: “I’m really thankful for the Walnut residents who still believe in me.”

The pair easily defeated challenger Betty Tang, 46, the president of the Chinese American Parents Association.

With all votes counted and two seats up for grabs, Pacheco was the lead vote-getter with 2,114 votes, Su had 2,095 votes and Tang trailed with 1,659. Write-in candidate Dino Jimmy Pollalis had 139 votes.

The Walnut City Council race could be one of the most expensive in San Gabriel Valley history, with three of the four candidates spending $275,000, campaign records show.

A boatload of campaign dollars from across Southern California fueled a flurry of negative campaigning in the form of attack mailers and nasty emails.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story ELECTION.

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