In a very close race Johnny Isbell wins 52.8% of the vote over Ralph Riggs. Only around 6,750 citizens cast ballots for a city of 150,000.
A good clean race. Key issues that decided the race - the questionable acting mayor endorsement after he said he would not endorse, mail-in ballot applications to everyone over 65, the Pasadena North/South split, full-time mayor versus experience, and looking forward to effective honest government or looking back for effective experience.
The keys for Isbell's win were the endorsement and robo-calling by the Acting Mayor Douglass and that Isbell immediately on being in a run-off sent campaign literature with a mail-in ballot application inside to everyone over 65 or otherwise eligible. (People should remember that for future races.)
After a brief slender lead by Isbell on the early vote, throughout the night Riggs held on to the lead. Finally around ten o'clock District H and the mail-in votes results were announced and the winner declared.
Long time Pasadena observers were shocked by the closeness of the race. I wasn't, Pasadena was almost ready for a change and may have gotten it except for the Mayor Douglass endorsement, the head start Isbell got on mail-in ballots, and Isbell's son JJ's district H. (Throw out JJ's district and the race was tied or throw out the mail-in ballots and Riggs wins.)
Both candidates ran issues and endorsements campaigns. All of the earlier candidates except one who were in the race had endorsed Riggs. Isbell had the police and fire endorsements and the acting mayor's. Douglass had promised not to endorse in the race and then said that only applied to the early crowded field. He said he was persuaded by Isbell's experience.
Final preliminary results:
Johnny Isbell 3,559 52.8%
Ralph Riggs 3,182 47.2%
A few provisional ballots are still out and will not change the results.
Update - Pasadena Citizen: Isbell late comeback seals win