The election is less than eight weeks away. Do you know how you’re voting?
If you’re like most voters, you have an inkling on who gets your vote for governor of California but you’re clueless about who and what is on the ballot on Nov. 6.
Besides the gubernatorial race between Republican John Cox and Democrat Gavin Newsom, area voters will be deciding on another key race – the 10th Congressional District race between incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, and his Democrat challenger, Turlock native and Democrat Josh Harder.
A small percentage of voters in Ceres will be eligible to weigh in on the race to become the next Ceres City Council member – either Linda Ryno or challenger Melvin “Gene” Yeakley. That’s because for the first time in history, councilmembers in Ceres will be decided by districts instead of at-large.
All Ceres city voters will also be faced with two ballot measures.
Measure W is on the ballot to ask voters for approval to impose a business license tax of up to 15 percent of gross receipts on cannabis businesses and dispensaries should any court action strike down three developer agreements the city has in place with three cannabis businesses in Ceres.
Measure X will seek approval to appoint a city treasurer or if it should remain elected. The city believes appointment is better since the current city treasurer, Harry Herbert, won’t be running again and given how the position hasn’t been challenged in decades, it’s possible nobody will want the job when it comes again in 2019.
Politics in Hughson became a sleeper this November since all three incumbents with open seats have no challengers. Unopposed for re-election are Mayor Jeramy Young and Councilmembers George Carr and Harold Hill.
In the Hughson Unified School District board race, incumbents Cindy Cunningham-Gipp and Randall Heckman will be automatically appointed since both were unopposed for re-election. In the Area 2 race, teacher Randee Harcrow was the only candidate since incumbent Trustee John Luis withdrew from the race on August 9.
Mostly incumbents have filed to run again to serve on the Keyes Union School District board. Incumbent School Board member Jimmy Emmons, who represents Area 2, is seeking re-election. He also serves as clerk to the board. He is being opposed by caregiver Ivy Benavides.
Jeff Reed, a trustee who represents Area 3, is unopposed for another four year-term. He is currently assigned as the board president.
Also unopposed was Wesley Greene, a School Board trustee representing Area 5. He is now serving as the board vice president.
State Assemblyman Adam C. Gray, a Merced Democrat who represents Ceres in the legislature, is being opposed by Libertarian Party member Justin Ryan Quigley of Ceres.
Voters in the Board of Equalization District 1 will be deciding who will represent them. Tom Hallinan, a Ceres Democrat who is also the city attorney for the city of Ceres, is running against Ted Gaines of El Dorado Hills, a Republican California state senator.
Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager will face off in November against Deputy District Attorney John R. Mayne in the fall. Fladager appears to be the favorite since in June she collected 38,508 votes (or 48 percent) to second-place finisher Mayne at 18,403 votes (22.94 percent).
County voters will also be deciding if Scott Kuykendall or Shannon Sanford should be the next superintendent of Stanislaus County Schools. Kuykendall, currently a Stanislaus County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent, received 33,829 votes, or 42.76 percent in June. Sanford received 24,407 votes, or 30.85 percent. Both edged out Waterford Unified School District Superintendent Don Davis.
Kuykendall was hired seven years ago by Stanislaus County Superintendent Tom Changnon, who did not seek reelection, and also earned the veteran educator’s endorsement.
Voters living in the 12th state Senate District will be deciding who will replace Senator Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, who is being termed out of office. The race comes down to Democrat state Assemblywoman Anna Caballero of Salinas, and Madera County Supervisor and Republican Rob Poythress. In June Caballero picked up 46,970 votes (or 43.3 percent) while Poythress collected 28,512 votes (or 26.3 percent). Those figures don’t take into consideration that Democrat Daniel Parra took 8,740 votes and Republican Johnny Tacherra amassed 24,088 votes in June. Tallied up, the Democrats collected 55,918 votes and Republicans 52,600.
Incumbent District 12 state Assemblyman Heath Flora, R-Ripon, will face off against challenger Robert D. Chase, a Modesto Democrat. In June Flora receiving 56,212 votes (63.9 percent) to Chase’s 31,811 votes (or 36.1 percent).
State races to be decided include the following:
Lieutenant Governor – Between two Democrat candidates Eleni Kounalaskis and Ed Hernandez;
Secretary of State – Democrat Alex Padilla versus Republican Mark P. Meuser;
State Controller – Democrat incumbent Betty T. Yee versus Republican Konstantinos Roditis;
State Treasurer – Republican Greg Conlan versus Democrat Fiona Ma;
State Attorney General – Republican Steven C. Bailey versus appointed incumbent Xavier Becerra;
State Insurance Commissioner – Democrat Ricardo Lara versus Republican Steve Poizner;
District 1 on State Board of Equalization – Democrat Tom Hallinan of Ceres versus Republican Ted Gaines.
California voters will also be choosing to keep U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, or replace her with Democrat Kevin DeLeon.
California voters also have the task of studying and voting on 12 statewide propositions. Here is a brief synopsis of them:
Prop. 1 – Issues $4 billion in bonds for housing programs and veterans’ home loans.
Prop. 2 – Authorizes the state to use revenue from millionaire’s tax for $2 billion in bonds for homelessness prevention housing;
Prop. 3 – Issues $8.877 billion in bonds for water-related infrastructure and environmental projects;
Prop. 4 – Issues $8.877 billion in bonds for water-related infrastructure and environmental projects;
Prop. 5 – Revises the process for homebuyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer their tax assessments;
Prop. 6 – Repeals the controversial $52 billion fuel tax and vehicle fee increases and requires public vote on future increases;
Prop. 7 – Authorizes legislature to provide for permanent daylight saving time if federal government allows;
Prop. 8 – Requires dialysis clinics to issue refunds for revenue above a certain amount;
Prop. 10 – Allows local governments to regulate rent;
Prop. 11 – Allow ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call during breaks paid;
Prop. 12 – Bans the sale of meat from animals confined in spaces below specific sizes.