Lake Elsinore Frontrunners Say Divisive City Politics Erased

Tired from nonstop campaigning but reeling from almost-in-the-bag wins, Bob Magee and Natasha Johnson shared their thoughts on the run up to Election Day and the likely four years ahead.

Lake Elsinore political insiders pegged the City Council race two months ago.

“Bob and Natasha will get it, not sure about that third seat though,” was the often-heard remark.

As armchair politics go, the Lake Elsinore rumor mill was dead on.

Tuesday’s early election returns showed Councilman Bob Magee and candidate Natasha Johnson leading the pack with comfortable margins, although counting continues.

That questionable third seat, however, has kept speculators guessing.

At press time, candidate Steve Manos has a slight lead over the remaining contenders.

Magee and Johnson were at The Diamond Tuesday to co-host a mega Election Night party that featured prominent politicians from across the Inland Empire, including termed-out Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore), who is seeking a seat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

Tired from nonstop campaigning but reeling from almost-in-the-bag wins, Bob Magee and Natasha Johnson shared their thoughts on the run up to Election Day and the likely four years ahead.

Johnson, who has never held elected public office, said she’s been humbled by the campaign experience.

“You make a lot of sacrifices,” she said. “It’s almost not of this world.”

Going door-to-door asking for a stranger’s vote can be an “emotional rollercoaster,” said Magee, who has served on the council for eight years. “Sometimes you’re sent into a tailspin.”

Being greeted at the door with unkind words comes with the territory of grassroots campaigning, but Magee and Johnson said the key is listening to constituents.

“People just want to be heard,” Magee explained.

Not talking too much has paid off for the two, and they’re optimistic about the possibility of serving during the next four years.

Magee ran on the platform of public safety, but staying “on the path” of improved parks and recreation, as well as improved transportation, are also top priorities, he said.

With that basic foundation laid, Johnson’s expertise in economic development (she currently works in the financial sector) can be put to work if she's elected, Magee added.

Additionally, the city is moving forward on hiring an economic development director and Johnson said she is “over the moon about it.”

The two contend the divided council that residents experienced earlier this year is no longer, and they believe regardless of who fills the three seats –- at press time numbers suggest it could be Johnson, Magee and Manos -- the council will get on with the business of the people.

“That cancer,” Magee said, “is gone.”

David Pereira November 07, 2012 at 04:40 PM
She beat Paule
BetterDaysAhead November 07, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Congratulations to our new and returning council members! Now, can a new city manager and fresh faces on the council prompt new ideas and new actions to move Lake Elsinore forward? I think so. Mr. Magge put it right in saying that "People just want to be heard" and it is our responsibility as citizens not to simply vote and just walk away. We do need to make ourselves consistently heard in support and dissent and not just in voice or in posting opinions but in our actions. I think we'd be surprised how much positive common ground we have and can gain in just "showing up" and participating in the governing of our city. I'm all in, and you?
Frankie November 08, 2012 at 02:22 AM
How rude
The Teller of Truth November 09, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Melendez won! ROTFLMAO!
The Teller of Truth November 09, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Thats right LER, she still beat Paule! ROTFLMAO!
Antonio November 10, 2012 at 05:09 AM
I still don't buy it that Manos was involved in the 2010 secret/illegal recall effort and lied to the public and now he is past this immorality. He is lucky he wasn't indicted along with Knight and his employee Carron. Manos' actions speak volumes to his lack of character and character is an enduring trait. So, take the rose colored glasses off and get ready for some of his slimy shenanigans.


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