David Alvarez entered his election party at a taqueria in Sherman Heights to a throng lined up to meet him.
“It’s like a wedding where you wait in line to talk to the person,” said one supporter a few back in the pack.
And so began the night for the vote leader in one of the area’s closest races, San Diego City Council’s District 8. The race to represent the city’s southernmost neighborhoods looked to be the only one in the city with substantial drama following early returns — and one that bucked the conventional wisdom.
Less than 200 votes separated the first-place Alvarez, a staffer for state Sen. Denise Ducheny, from fourth-place Felipe Hueso with 33.9 percent of precincts reporting. Six votes separated second from fourth place. The election’s top two finishers will go on to a November runoff in the fight to replace Ben Hueso as the councilman.
Alvarez, who led with 21.74 percent of the vote, guaranteed he would be there when the final results came out.
Nick Inzunza (18.48 percent), the uncle of Ralph Inzunza, the District 8 councilman until he resigned in 2005, was in second.