Mayoral candidate Richard Molina won nearly 54 percent of ballots cast in Edinburg, trouncing incumbent Richard H. Garcia, according to preliminary results published by the Hidalgo County Elections Department.

Molina won nearly 54 percent of 8,420 ballots cast, according to the Elections Department. About 39 percent of voters supported Garcia and 7 percent supported challenger Gina Marie Alamia.

The three-way race pitted Edinburg Mayor Richard H. Garcia against two challengers: City Councilman Richard Molina and Gina Marie Alamia, the daughter of former mayor Richard Alamia.

Garcia campaigned on the status quo, touting economic development in Edinburg — new businesses and new jobs.

Both Molina and Alamia argued the opposite: Edinburg is headed in the wrong direction.

While Molina acknowledged Edinburg’s growth, he also accused the City Council of making politically motivated decisions that wasted taxpayer money.

Alamia cast herself as the only real outsider, noting that Molina also serves on the City Council. She campaigned on ethics reform and ending favoritism at City Hall.

A federal investigation and controversy over business connections between Councilman Homer Jasso Jr. and the city fueled allegations of corruption and self-dealing.

Jorge “Coach” Salinas, Fern “Owls” McClaugherty and Richard Gonzales filed for Place 1. Gilbert Enriquez and Roland Villarreal filed for Place 2.

With eight candidates vying for three seats, voter turnout skyrocketed.

Salinas won nearly 50.2 percent of ballots cast, narrowly avoiding a runoff, according to the preliminary results. Enriquez won about 54 percent of the vote.