Planning Commissioner Daniel Martinez appears to be poised to join the Ceres City Council along with Rosemary Vierra who both held onto sizable leads in Tuesday’s election.
In Council District 1, incumbent Councilman James Casey held a whopping lead over first-time office seeker Todd Underwood.
Election results will change throughout the canvass period as vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots (including conditional voter registration provisional ballots), and other ballots are tallied.
As of Wednesday’s mid-day election count, Martinez had 531 votes (61.25 percent), over John R. Osgood’s 185 votes (21.34 percent) in the District 4 council race. David Carreon was in third place with 151 votes, or 17.24 percent of the vote.
In the District 2 council race Rosemary Vierra soundly defeated Paula Redfern in the latest election tally. Vierra had 576 votes in her column, for 71.29 percent of the vote; while Redfern collected 232 votes, or 28.71 percent of the vote. Vierra will be seated next month in the seat that has been vacant since Linda Ryno resigned in March.
James Casey, who was elected to the council last year to serve out the unexpired term of Channce Condit, was solidly re-elected on Tuesday. Casey collected 888 votes, or 75.32 percent, in the latest count issued by the Stanislaus County Elections Division. He far outdistanced his rival, Todd Underwood, a 43-year-old telecommunications installer working in the Bay Area, who had 291 votes (24.68 percent).
CUSD board race
Ceres Unified School District Board Trustee Valli Wigt appears to have held onto her Area 3 seat. The longtime board member was challenged by Mariah Jaquez who is an administrative assistant and student. Wigt had 307 votes (55.92 percent) while Jaquez picked up 242 votes (44.08 percent) in the latest tally.
“I am proud of our district and all that has been accomplished during the time I have served,” said Wigt, who retired after 34 years of teaching K-6 students in the Ceres Unified School District and Oakdale Union Elementary School District.
If her lead stands, Wigt will return to the school board with some new faces. Trucking business owner David McConnell, 62, faced no challenge to take the Trustee Area 6 seat now occupied by Betty Davis who is retiring. Also new is real estate agent Cynthia Ruiz who was the lone candidate for the Trustee Area 2 seat occupied by Mike Welsh, who is moving to Nevada.
Incumbent CUSD board trustee Lourdes Perez is also headed back to the board for another four-year term since she was also unopposed in her re-election bid for Trustee Area 5.
David Yonan delivered a crushing defeat of Wayne Zipser in the race for the Division 2 seat on the Turlock Irrigation District Board. Yonan, who ran an aggressive campaign and who was endorsed by outgoing incumbent Charlie Fernandes, received 2,546 votes as of Wednesday to claim 70.96 percent of the total votes cast. Zipser, who retired this year as the executive director of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, came in a distant second place with 1,042 votes, or 29.04 percent.
Both candidates live in Ceres.
Ceres’ next representative in the state Assembly is likely to be Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Sgt. Juan Alanis who was ahead of Democrat Jessica Self as of Tuesday. The California Secretary of State’s website had Alanis up in the 22nd Assembly District with 30,066 votes (57.4 percent) to criminal defense attorney Self who collected 22,321 votes (42.6 percent).
In the 4th state Senate race, Marie Alvardo-Gil has an electoral edge of over fellow Democrat rival Tim Robertson. The two Democrats went to the general election after edging out a slate of Republican candidates that included George Radanovich, Jeff McKay, Steve Bailey, Jack Griffith, Jolene Daly and Michael Gordon in June.
Alvarado-Gil had 80.255 votes (51.4 percent) over labor backed Robertson at 75,866 votes (48.6 percent).
Congressional race close
Still up in the air is who will take the 13th Congressional District – a race that remains too close to call. Republican John Duarte was ahead of Democrat Adam Gray by 203 votes. As of Wednesday, Duarte had received 34,715 votes (50.1 percent) over Gray’s 34,512 votes (49.9 percent).
The 13th CD includes western Stanislaus County, much of Merced County, and parts of Madera and Fresno counties.
There is no doubt as to who will represent the 5th Congressional District which takes in Hughson, Denair, most of Modesto, Oakdale, Riverbank, Waterford and La Grange. Redistricting changed the boundaries and sent Rep. Josh Harder seeking the 9th district that includes Stockton since Rep. Jerry McNerney chose not to seek reelection.
Congressman Tom McClintock amassed 105,398 votes (60.1 percent) over Manteca Democrat and perennial candidate Michael Barkley, who had 69,961 votes (39.9 percent).
Redistricting forced Congressman Harder, who has been representing Ceres in the 10th Congressional District, to run in the 9th CD, which encompassed part of the northern area of Stanislaus County and Stockton. Harder held onto a sizable lead over Republican Tom Patti as of Wednesday. Harder was ahead with 44,108 votes (56.4 percent), over Patti’s 34,166 votes (43.6 percent).
Other local races
In the city of Hughson, Mayor George Carr was unopposed for a four-year term. He had 862 votes while 202 who voted in Hughson decided not to vote, probably for the lack of opposition.
Randy Crooker led the vote tally for one of two seats on the Hughson City Council with 538 votes (33.52 percent), followed by Julie Ann Strain with 355 votes (22.12 percent). Appearing to lose their council bids are Heather Sigala with 250 votes (15.58 percent), Tyrel Voss with 239 votes (14.89 percent), and Alan McFadon with 223 votes (13.89 percent).
Crooker and Strain will be replacing Michael Buck and Harold Hill on the council.
As everyone predicted, Democrats won every top state race, including Gov. Gavin Newsom who handily defeated Republican State Senator Brian Dahle. Newsom had 3,150,570 votes (57.6 percent) as of Wednesday. Dahle collected 2,322,931 votes, or 42.4 percent.
Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis won re-election as did Secretary of State Shirley Weber, state Controller Malia M. Cohen, state Treasurer Fiona Ma, Attorney General Rob Bonta, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Supt. of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
California voters also decided to make abortion “rights” part of the state Constitution by passing Prop. 1.
They turned down both 26 and 27 regarding sports wagering.
Prop. 28, the Public School Arts and Music Education Funding act passed.
Prop. 29, which would have added further regulations on kidney dialysis centers, failed.
Voters also did not support Prop. 30 which would have taxed millionaires to fund wildfire programs and subsidize electric vehicles.
Prop. 31, which regulates flavored tobacco products purchased by adults, passed.