Jim Monahan, a Ventura native and 10-year City Council member, was elected mayor of Ventura Monday night by his colleagues on the council.
The other candidate, Bill Crew, a businessman with two years on the council, was named deputy mayor.
Before Monday's vote, council members had been split 3 to 2 in favor of Monahan, with new council members Don Villeneuve and Richard Francis holding the undecided votes. Villeneuve and Francis, who both won on slow-growth campaigns, came to a joint decision in choosing Monahan, Francis said.
"It being such a very close choice in terms of the abilities of the people, it turned basically on Jim's tenure with the council," Francis said. "He also seems to be the populist candidate, and it is incumbent upon us to listen to the constituency. Another factor that influenced me is that Jim's experience will be very helpful, especially for someone as inexperienced as I am."
Monahan said that the two freshmen council members had closely questioned him about his views over several lunches.
"They were concerned about traffic, and they were concerned about growth, concerned about erosion control of the coastline," Monahan said.
Villeneuve and Francis called Monahan Saturday and told him of their decision to support him, he said. Crew called shortly after and offered his congratulations as well.