San Jacinto elections: Ayala, Ruiz, Hawkins ahead, Measure V passing by nearly 2K votes

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A Riverside County ballot box. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
Measure V appears likely to pass in San Jacinto, and three candidates for the San Jacinto City Council retained their leads Thursday night. Measure V, which will implement a one-cent sales tax increase, had 5,170 'yes' votes and 2,305 'no' votes, unchanged from Wednesday morning. San Jacinto elects its city council members at large, so the seats will go to the top three vote-getters out of that field. Crystal Ruiz and Russ Utz are incumbents; the third seat is open with Mayor Andrew Koytuk choosing not to seek re-election and instead run for a seat in the 42nd State Assembly District. As of 6 p.m. Thursday, newcomer Phil Ayala was leading with 3,399 votes, followed by Ruiz with 3,005 votes and another newcomer, Brian Hawkins, with 2,892 votes. Utz was trailing with 2,269 votes, and ano
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