SAN PABLO -- In the City Council race here, challenger Rich Kinney moved into third place Wednesday behind two of three incumbents who had received heavy backing from local and regional Democratic leaders. The third incumbent, Leonard McNeil, slipped into fourth place by 74 votes.

Leading the pack was Cecilia Valdez, the current mayor, followed by Councilwoman Kathy Chao Rothberg. Challengers Frank Ybarra and Frankin Onwubuariri were in fifth and sixth place.

Valdez, a retired San Francisco Superior Court reporter and former vice chairwoman of the Contra Costa Democratic Party Central Committee, was elected to the council on her first try four years ago. Chao Rothberg, executive director of the nonprofit organization Lao Family Community Development, was appointed by the council in April 2012 to replace former Councilman Arturo Cruz, who resigned for health reasons. McNeil is a political-science instructor at Contra Costa College with 12 years experience on the council.

Kinney is a high school and middle schoolteacher, coach and tutor, and also a pastor. Ybarra is an alcohol and drug counselor. Onwubuariri is a fitness trainer.

The race provided little public airing of the candidates' opinions and platforms. The incumbents and two of the challengers, Kinney and Onwubuariri, appeared to agree on most issues during an early October debate at Maple Hall; Ybarra did not attend the debate and did not file a candidate statement.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, with all precincts reporting, the vote count, in terms of the percentage of total votes for each candidate, was Valdez, 26.4 percent; Chao Rothberg, 19.4 percent; Kinney, 18 percent; McNeil, 17.2 percent; Ybarra, 12.7 percent; and Onwubuariri, 6 percent.

The five debate participants agreed broadly on the importance of public safety and police protection, public health, business development, employment opportunities and education. They agreed, without going into much detail, that San Pablo should be a good and safe place to raise a family and start a business.

Unlike other West Contra Costa cities, San Pablo does not televise or webstream its City Council meetings. Council meetings are sparsely attended.

San Pablo projects about $15 million in revenue, or almost two-thirds of its general fund, this fiscal year from Casino San Pablo, owned by the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians. But the casino received virtually no mention during the debate except from Kinney, who said the city is too dependent on gambling and should diversify its revenue sources.

The casino and the union representing most of the workers there have been embroiled for two years in a labor dispute that was being heard last week by the National Labor Relations Board in Oakland.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760. Follow him at twitter.com/tomlochner.