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Pulido leads in Santa Ana mayor's race

November 6, 2012 | 10:32 pm

PHOTOS: California voters head to polls

In Santa Ana, nine-term Mayor Miguel Pulido was leading Councilman David Benavides by more than twice as many votes in early results.

Pulido is the county's longest-serving mayor. In a statement Tuesday night, he said that the day's vote is “an affirmation of my leadership and our campaign.”

“What I’ve been hearing on the campaign trail is they like the progress we’ve made on crime, city streets and community revitalization,” he said about voters.

LIVE RESULTS: California election | National election

Pulido faced one of his toughest reelection campaigns against  Benavides, who received endorsements from the city's police union and the county labor federation.

On Tuesday night outside a Santa Ana high school, a line of voters snaked out the door.

Demetrius Pineda, 27, who grew up in Santa Ana, said he voted for Pulido.

VIDEO: L.A. voters discuss 2012 election

“He’s been fixing up the streets,” said Pineda, who is a student. “Why not?”

Luvy Leal also voted for the incumbent mayor but acknowledged that she was unsure of her vote until she took a drive around the city and noticed how clean the downtown area looks.

“I see a nicer city,” said Leal, who is self-employed.

But Leal also said she voted for term limits for the mayor and City Council because she felt it was “best.”

In early results, a measure to limit the Santa Ana mayor’s term to eight years was leading.

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-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Mayoral candidate Miguel Pulido speaks during a mayoral debate at the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board Room in Santa Ana. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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