Manhattan Beach City Councilman Wayne Powell won a second term Tuesday night as he landed on top in a six-way race for three council seats.
According to unofficial returns, Powell, a retired chief financial officer who was elected to the council in 2009, was out front with 28.8 percent of the vote.
The other two seats were captured by Mark Burton, a retired senior assistant city attorney for Los Angeles, and downtown business owner Tony D'Errico.
Burton, 59, who campaigned on his public service background, finished in second place with 21.5 percent of the vote. D'Errico, 64, who with his wife owns the stores Bella Beach & Bella Beach Kids in downtown Manhattan Beach, came in third with 17.2 percent.
Mark Lipps, 56, finished fourth with 15.2 percent, followed close behind by former two-term Councilman Mitch Ward, a 51-year-old actor and the owner of a technology company, at 15.1 percent.
Meanwhile, civic activist and frequent council critic Viet Ngo, 62, trailed in sixth place with 2.1 percent.
Tuesday's count does not include some 550 vote-by-mail ballots that were dropped off at the polls on Tuesday, City Clerk Liza Tamura said.
While recognizing those ballots have yet to be counted, D'Errico said Tuesday night he was excited about the prospect of serving. He held a 259-vote lead over fourth-place finisher Lipps.
"It would only be fair for me to be respectful of the two candidates that are within reach," he said, adding: "I'm excited.
During the campaign, Powell touted his push to do away with the 15-minute time limit on public comment at the start of council meetings, along with his efforts to quash a Malibu group's controversial plan to dredge sand in waters off Manhattan Beach to shore up an eroded section of the Malibu coastline.
With Councilmen Nick Tell and Richard Montgomery termed out this year after serving two council terms apiece, Manhattan Beach voters faced a crowded ballot.
But the council race was generally low-key, with candidates pledging to address many of the same issues if elected to office - improving residents' quality of life, keeping neighborhoods secure, creating a more open and accessible city government, and planning ahead for municipal infrastructure projects.
But there were some subtle disagreements over public safety resources, with Burton and D'Errico calling for more police oversight in the downtown to combat crime.
Ward, in contrast, said he supported the Police Department's current level of service and its practice of having officers make regular rounds through town.
Ngo has been the most critical of the city's current leadership, alleging that "ongoing corruption and waste and abuse" exists in City Hall.
Also on Tuesday, City Treasurer Tim Lilligren, first elected to his post in 2005, ran unopposed.
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Staff writer Carley Dryden contributed to this article.