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091718 Lompoc forum 03.jpg (copy)

This Sept. 17, 2018, file photo shows each of the four candidates for Lompoc City Council participating in a forum at Lompoc City Hall. Pictured, from left, are District 2 candidates Victor Vega and Shirley Sherman, alongside District 3 candidates Robert Cuthbert and Dirk Starbuck.

The incumbents held on to their seats in the two Lompoc City Council races, according to updated voting results released late Friday afternoon.

Current Councilman Victor Vega, with 617 votes, held an edge over challenger Shirley Sherman, who received 323 votes, in District 2. Vega accounted for 65 percent of the vote, while Sherman held 34 percent. In District 3, incumbent Dirk Starbuck accounted for 60 percent of the vote with 962 to out-pace challenger Robert Cuthbert, who had amassed 644 votes for 40 percent, according to the figures released provided by Santa Barbara County election officials.

This year’s City Council races were unlike any other in the city’s history as they marked the first under the recently adopted district-based format.

The winner in each race earned a four-year seat on the Lompoc City Council.

Vega, who was initially elected to the council in 2014, and Sherman, who was attempting her first run for public office, were vying to represent District 2, which covers the mid-western portion of town.

Starbuck, who was seeking a third term after his initial election in 2010, and Cuthbert, who was waging his seventh Lompoc City Council campaign and seeking his first victory, battled to represent District 3, which spans much of the eastern portion of the city.

The Lompoc City Council began the transition to a district-based election system in September 2017. The move was spurred, as it was in several other locales around the state, by the threat of a lawsuit alleging that the city’s at-large system of elections violated the California Voting Rights Act.

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Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.

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