Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim DeMartini of Westport easily destroyed opposition candidates in Tuesday's primary election.
DeMartini rounded up 4,018 votes for a 52.83 percent majority. He handily outdistanced Patterson Mayor Luis Molina who picked up 2,276 votes, or 29.93 percent. Eileen Wyatt Stockman, a Ceres resident, former Ceres School Board member and retiring county employee, came in third with 1,300 votes, or 17.09 percent.
According to campaign finance reports, DeMartini spent $83,900 in the race, compared to $8,700 by Molina and $5,000 by Stokman.
DeMartini has represented District 5 communities since 2004 and has been highly visible both in Ceres and on the west side.
Vito Chiesa, a Hughson farmer on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, was unopposed and received 8,197 votes, or 97.56 percent. At least 205 voters wrote in a name rather than vote for the incumbent.
State Assemblyman Adam Gray, whose 21st District encompasses Ceres, handily came out on top with 25,626 votes, or 66.3 percent over Republican Greg Opinski. The Merced Union High School Board trustee received 13,017 votes, or 33.7 percent.
In the District 1 Supervisorial race, state Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen was also unopposed and pulled 8,105 votes, or 96.66 percent. Her controversial entry into the race came under fire when it was suggested County Supervisor Bill O'Brien tipped her off that he wouldn't be seeking re-election on the last filing day, allowing Olsen to slip in unopposed.
In the hotly contested race for the State Assembly District 12 seat being vacated by Kristin Olsen, no candidate received 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a general election runoff. Republicans Ken Vogel and Heath Flora appear to be the top vote-getters out of a field of five candidates and will duke it out from now until November.
Assembly District 12 includes Hughson, Keyes, and parts of rural Ceres east of Faith Home Road. It also includes Hickman, Waterford, Turlock, Riverbank, Denair, Oakdale, Knights Ferry, Escalon, Ripon, Salida and Manteca.
Vogel, a former San Joaquin County supervisor, collected the most votes but not enough to avoid a runoff, like with Flora, a fellow Republican who was boosted by an endorsement from state Senator Anthony Cannella of Ceres. Vogel picked up 13,880 votes, or 25.5 percent, to Flora's 12,315 votes, or 22.6 percent. Only 416 votes separated Flora and former Riverbank mayor Virginia Madueno, a Democrat, who received 11,899 votes, or 21.9 percent. Another Democrat, Harinder Grewal, a CSUS professor living in Keyes, received 19.3 percent of the vote with a count of 10,472. Cindy Marks, a Republican who served on the Modesto City School board, came in final place with 5,808 votes, or 10.7 percent.
Two Turlock farmers will once again vie to represent the residents of U.S. Congressional District 10 on the November ballot, according to latest election results.
Republican incumbent Jeff Denham led preliminary results with 35,008 votes, or 46.9 percent, followed by Democratic challenger Michael Eggman with 21,179 votes, or 28.4 percent. Democrat Michael Barkley had 10,917 votes, or 14.6 percent of the vote, followed by Denair farmer and Republican Robert Hodges with 7,464 votes, or 10 percent.
"I feel great about the early results," said Eggman on Tuesday. "The results tonight give me a tremendous amount of hope for the November results."
However, Denham's support was higher than the two Democratic candidates combined.
"We're going to run a strong campaign on the issues that are important to people in the Valley, which are fixing our broken water infrastructure, protecting Medicare and Social Security, and expanding opportunities for the middle class," said Eggman, who ran for Congress in 2014 and lost to Denham.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris easily claimed a spot Tuesday on the November ballot for a seat in the U.S. Senate in a race that could for the first time pit two Democrats - both women and minorities - against one another in November. A total of 33 candidates were on the ballot.
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of Orange County, another Democrat, was in second place in early returns.
Harris collected 2,054,747 votes, or 40.3 percent, to Sanchez's 947,006 votes, or 18.6 percent. Sanchez's numbers indicate she has an uphill climb. Duf Sundheim, the top vote gathering Republican, was shut out with a dismal third place finish of 409,096 votes, or 8 percent.
No Sentae candidates appeared in this part of the Valley during the campaign.
In the presidential primary, Hillary Clinton collected 1,944,634 votes, Donald Trump had 1,180,295 votes and Bernie Sanders collected 1,504,953 votes.