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Davis, Perez, Wigt elected
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Teresa Guerrero and Edgar Romo, incumbent trustees of the Ceres Unified School District board, were resoundly defeated in the polls Tuesday in what was likely the fallout of the controversial naming the new junior high school.

Guerrero and Romo were the chief proponents of breaking the precedent of naming schools after local residents who contributed to Ceres education and naming the new junior high school after Cesar Chavez. The decision angered many who were lobbying for the names of old farming families. It also stirred the angst of the ag community that has a disdain for Chavez, a farm labor union leader who died in 1993.

Guerrero was defeated by Valli Wigt, a popular teacher and west side farmer in a largely agricultural Trustee Area 3. Wigt received 494 votes, or 66.04 percent, to Guerrero's 250 votes, or 33.42 percent.

Lourdes Perez defeated Romo in Trustee Area 5. Perez collected 384 votes, or 65.75 percent, to Romo's 195 votes, or 33.39 percent.

Perez, 35, is program coordinator of Ceres Partnership For Healthy Children and former manager of the Ceres Drive-In and Flea Market. Both of her daughters attend Ceres schools.

Betty Davis, who taught in Ceres schools for over 26 years, remained safe in the at-large trustee area although the Chavez backlash may account for political newcomer Brian Kline coming close. Davis received 1,900 votes, or 57.3. Kline picked up 1,363 votes, or 41.1 percent.

Kline's campaign was dogged by rumors that he had ulterior motives in getting back at his dismissal as head coach of Ceres High School's boys water polo program in 2006 for an undisclosed reason. Kline contends that he didn't do anything wrong.

Davis, 67, has lived in Ceres for more than 40 years.

Wigt said some voters expressed outrage at the board over the Cesar Chavez name pick. She said the Chavez School name issue may have taken votes from her incumbent opponent but said she hopes "people voted for me because they think I can do a good job. It's a rural area and I've been with the ag community for a long time so most of the farmer and ranchers know me pretty well."

Wigt, 56, lives in the Westport area. Her husband Pete is a dairy hoofer. She retired as a teacher in June 2008 after spending three years at Westport Elementary, 10 years at Fair Oaks Elemenary in Oakdale, 18 years at Carroll Fowler Elementary, and the last three years at Westport again.

Wigt said he'll be meeting with Supt. Walt Hanline and other administrators to get up to speed on her new board duties. She also plans to attend a California School Board Association conference.

City Council incumbents remain safe

Ceres City Council members Ken Lane and Chris Vierra smoked their opponent in Tuesday's election by a wide margin.

Mike Kline failed to excite the electorate in his fourth unsuccessful Ceres political campaign.

Vierra came out on top with 1,852 votes, or 40.57 percent, followed by Lane who had 1,482 votes, o 32.46 percent. Kline received 1,192 votes, or 26.11 percent, to lose out.

Kline said the campaign was a good, clean campaign.

In the Hughson Unified School Board District, three winners were Cindy Cunningham-Gipp who received 951 votes (29.74 percent), Randy Heckman, who received 929 votes (29.05 percent), and Rick Applegate who picked up 780 votes (24.39 percent). Erik M. Lee lost his bid for a seat when he came in fourth place with 526 votes, or 16.45 percent.

In Keyes, new board members are Jimmy Emmons Sr., Jeff Reed and Antonio Aguilar. Emmons received top vote of 144 (17.56 percent), and Reed and Aguilar had 141 votes apiece (17.20 percent). Losing their bids were Remona Rayburn, 106 votes (12.83 percent); Christopher Reynolds, 110 votes (13.41 percent); Carlos Jimenez, 86 votes (10.49 percent); and Sopha Munoz-Jimenez, 82 votes (10 percent).

Elected as directors of the Hughson Fire Protection District were Gus Villarreal with 745 votes, or 38.32 percent, Raymond Camagna with 715 votes, or 36.78 percent. Losing his bid was Robert "Bob" Hedrick Jr. who picked up 481 votes, or 24.74 percent.

In the Turlock Irrigation District elections, Joe Alamo was victorious over Keith Silva for the Divisin 3 seat. Alamo delivered a stinging defeat by a margin of 1,303 to 233 votes.

In TID's Division 5, Ron Macedo defeated Pamela Sweeten by a margin of 671 to 251.