Union-backed candidates lead in El Monte

Again from reporter Rebecca Kimitch, but this time early El Monte elections:

EL MONTE — In early voting results Tuesday night, three incumbents appeared to be headed for defeat in the races of El Monte mayor and two open City Council seats.

Voters instead favored union-backed candidates Andre Quintero, 34, for mayor and Norma Macias, 38, for City Council.

Quintero had a significant lead over incumbent mayor Mayor Ernie Gutierrez.

“If these results hold, the community is definitely looking for new leadership,” Quintero said.

Quintero is a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and a former Rio Hondo Community College District trustee.

In the City Council race, Macias, an architect who oversees infrastructure projects in South El Monte, and Kien Lam, 30, an information security specialist for a biomedical company, held the number one and two spots.

They were followed by Planning Commissioner Richard Garner, 60, a 32-year city employee; incumbents Juventino “J” Gomez and Art Barrios; and finally Angel Ralph Nunez, 57, a 20-year city employee.