By his own admission, Porter is "apolitical" but said the charter would "help us with our spending."
At Fire Station 5 near the city's police station, Ida Monarch said she cast her vote against the charter.
"I just think it puts too much power in too few hands," she said.
Just outside the outpost off Vanguard Way, City Council candidate John Stephens and school board Trustee Katrina Foley sat on a bench, looking over spreadsheets.
"I'm feeling fine," Stephens said. "It's been a busy day at work."
Foley, a former councilwoman, said she expected a close election and big turnout over Measure V, the city's ballot initiative that would enact a city charter. The two attorneys have campaigned against it.
Skosh Monahan's Irish pub, where supporters of the 3Ms and Measure V gathered, was boisterous just before early election results came out at 8 p.m. Seated at a table, Planning Commissioner Rob Dickson said the charter would give the council the "ability to outsource common sense stuff."
"Where it makes sense to keep it in house, we keep it in house," Dickson said.
Members of Costa Mesans for Responsible Government rallied at the Westside Bar & Grill.
"The residents that are here all worked really hard to defeat Measure V," said community activist Sue Lester. She said whether or not the charter passes or CM4RG candidates win, the group reached between very different factions within the city.
"In that respect I was part of a win," Lester said.