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Election shows mixed support for new Escondido ballpark

Portland BeaversLast night’s election in Escondido (Cal.) was a mixed bag for ballpark proponents, as a vocal opponent of the proposed Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark was voted in over the former mayor, a staunch advocate of the project.

Former councilman Ed Gallo, an opponent of public funding for the ballpark, won a seat on the council, edging out Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler, who initiated the process of building a new $50 million ballpark for the relocated Beavers. Now, the ballpark wasn’t necessarily a key issue in the election — indeed, local coverage indicated that illegal immigration was a far more important issue for voters — but the presence of Gallo does present issues for San Diego Padres owner Jeff Moorad, who has a tentative deal in place to buy the Bevos and have them playing in a new ballpark down the road. (Moorad is pushing for 2012; in 2011 the Beavers will play temporarily in Tucson Electric Park.) Also losing in the election: Councilman Dick Daniels, another sure vote for the project.

Other ballpark proponents did well in the election, with Councilman Sam Abed snaring the mayor’s seat and Councilwoman Marie Waldron — along with Pfeiler one of the shakers and movers behind the ballpark project — winning their races easily. And two candidates who were also vocal opponents of the ballpark project lost in their bids for office.

Still, the election muddies the waters for ballpark passage. Currently the plan is to have the Escondido City Council vote on the ballpark proposal on Nov. 30, before the newcomers are seated. However, if that date slips, the new council would take up the ballpark proposal, and passage — if it happens — would surely not be unanimous, a stated goal for Moorad and crew. While the elections were not a direct refudiation of the ballpark project, they did expose mixed support for the public funding of the facility.

RELATED STORIES: Tuesday elections could determine fate of Bevos; Bevos to Tucson for 2011; Escondido ballpark vote delayed after pollution found at site; Fate of Bevos in the air until November, maybe December; Padres pitch one-sided lease to Escondido; Escondido: Show us some money, Padres; Escondido in, San Marcos out of Bevos ballpark mix; Portland Beavers to…Lake Elsinore?; Could bidding war erupt for Bevos?; Portland Bevos update: Tucson-bound?; Come 2011, where will Beavers play?; Paulson finalizes deal for PGE Park soccer conversion; whither the Bevos?; Paulson withdraws bid for Bevos ballpark in Beaverton; Decision on Bevos ballpark could go to Beaverton voters; Beaverton, Bevos reach agreement on new ballpark sans site; Land woes could kill Bevos ballpark in Beaverton; Picketers greet pro-Beavers rally in Beaverton; Landowners not thrilled with Beaverton Bevos ballpark plan; Bevos eye Beaverton for new ballpark site; Paulson withdraws request for Bevos ballpark in Lents; Portland to move ahead with soccer renovation, put off plans for Bevos ballpark; Thursday vote could determine Bevos ballpark fate; New Beavers ballpark lacks support on City Council; Bevos, city close to final funding proposal for new ballpark; Rose Quarter location officially off the table for new Bevos ballparkBevos ballpark plans back up in the air — and maybe doomed; Portland ballpark vote delayed as mayor adjusts site, financial plans; New Beavers ballpark wouldn’t happen until 2012 — at the earliest; Cost of Portland redevelopment mushrooms to almost $300 million; Crunching the numbers on a new Bevos ballpark; Portland proposes tearing down Memorial Coliseum for new Bevos ballpark; Portland City Council votes to move ahead with new Bevos ballpark — but takes $15 million from the equation; Paulson agrees to Portland’s financial demands; still may not be enough; Bevos ballpark plan runs into serious financial obstacles; Portland task force gives preliminary approval to new Bevos ballpark — with plenty of conditions; Portland ballpark discussion shifts to Rose Quarter; Decision on new Bevos ballpark location delayed; Will new ballpark fly in Lents?

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