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Ryno headed back to council; Denham likely back to Congress
Channce Condit to replace Ken Lane on Ceres City Council
Rep. Jeff Denham addressed supporters gathered in a barn west of Modesto after Tuesday's election, confident but not sure of his victory over Democrat Josh Harder. Denham maintained about a 1,000 vote lead over Harder. - photo by Jeff Benziger

Incumbent Ceres City Councilwoman Linda Ryno easily cruised to re-election Tuesday evening while area Congressman Jeff Denham squeezed out an early but thin lead over Democrat challenger Josh Harder in what was a very contentious race that was the most expensive race in the history of the 10th District.

California voters also elected a new governor in Democrat Gavin Newsom over businessman Republican John Cox.

With most of the votes counted, in the 10th Congressional District race Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, received 56,701 votes, 50.57 percent, while his Democrat challenger, Turlock native and Democrat Josh Harder collected 55,414, or 49.4 percent – a 1,287-vote margin of victory. The elections divisions in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties still have remaining provisional and mail ballots to be counted.

On Tuesday evening in a barn outside of Modesto, Congressman Jeff Denham thanked his supporters for their hard work and seemed upbeat about his early lead. He took the stage a little after 9 p.m. with Sacramento and Los Angeles print and TV media in attendance.

“Obviously it is still early yet,” said Denham after 9 p.m., “but I am very encouraged.”

“People always ask me about the campaign and we have a great campaign team here but this has more to do with representing the community,” said Denham. “When you live in the community, when you give back to the community, when you serve your community, a lot of this comes natural. We’ve been working hard. We’ve got a great team working every single day to solve problems for the people we represent. I am very proud of the record of helping constituents, our veterans, our seniors, those that are looking for visas. We have so many challenges on the federal level and our team working here locally gets it done.

“From a legislative standpoint we take on the issues that matter. Water – if you take away our water you will devastate our way of life and you’ll devastate our Valley. And now for the first time not only are we playing defense against the Bay Area and the state water grab, we’re playing offense to get the water storage that we’ve needed now for decades.”
Denham cited some “big legislative wins” with federal financing available to start building new water storage at Sites, and raising the dams at Temperance Flats, Shasta and Los Vaqueros “to make sure we keep the water that we know that we need here and the water we pay for – it’s our water.”

Ceres residents living in Council District 2 voted to send Ryno back to the Ceres City Council. With half the precincts reporting, Ryno collected 780 votes, or 78.23 percent. She was challenged by Melvin “Gene” Yeakley who amassed only 211 votes, or 21.16 percent. It was the first time in Ceres history that councilmembers were decided by districts instead of at-large.

Ryno said she ran for re-election because she believes she has done a “good job of representing the citizens of Ceres.” She has pushed for fiscal accountability, and beefing up city services like police, code enforcement and parks maintenance which suffered under a prolonged financial struggle.

Voters in Council District #1 had only one choice for City Council in Channce Condit who replaces retiring Councilman Ken Lane.  Condit collected 1,233 votes with 248 voters opting to not vote for lack of a choice. A total of 64 write-in names were recorded.

Ceres city voters were faced with two ballot measures. 

Measure W passed by a margin of 3,427 (66.03 percent) to 1,763 (33.97 percent). It was placed 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.

Ceres voters rejected Measure X which sought approval to appoint a city treasurer or if it should remain elected. City officials suggested that 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.

With all of votes counted, Measure X was losing 3,248 to 1,791.

Keyes Union School District incumbent School Board member Jimmy Emmons, who represents Area 2, won in a landslide in his re-election bid. Emmons, who serves as clerk to the board, received 90 votes to 25 votes collected by caregiver Ivy Benavides.

State Assemblyman Adam C. Gray, a Merced Democrat who represents Ceres in the legislature, handily defeated Libertarian Party member Justin Ryan Quigley of Ceres. Gray received 37,134 votes to Quigley’s 16,416 votes.

Voters in the Board of Equalization District 1 preferred Ted Gaines of El Dorado Hills, a Republican California state senator over Tom Hallinan, a Ceres Democrat who is also the city attorney for the city of Ceres. Gaines won with 862,527 votes over Hallinan’s 721,647 votes.

Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager was re-elected over her challenger, Deputy District Attorney John R. Mayne. Fladager collected 41,723 votes, or   59.96 percent to Mayne’s 27,408 votes, or 39.39 votes.

County voters also decided that Scott Kuykendall should succeed Tom Changnon as the next superintendent of Stanislaus County Schools. Ceres native Shannon Sanford came in second place.

Kuykendall, currently a Stanislaus County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent, received 37,638 votes,   or 54.44 percent. Sanford received 31,099 votes, or 44.98 percent. Both edged out Waterford Unified School District Superintendent Don Davis in the June primary.

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 in the 12th state Senate District decided to elect Anna Caballero of Salinas to replace Senator Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, who is being termed out of office. Now a Democrat state Assemblywoman Caballero defeated Madera County Supervisor and Republican Rob Poythress.

Incumbent District 12 state Assemblyman Heath Flora, R-Ripon, easily fended off a challenge by Robert D. Chase, a Modesto Democrat. Flora collected 50,944 votes to Chase’s 31,782.

With 95.7 percent of the state vote counted, Gavin Newsom defeated John Cox for governor in a 4,154,087 to 2,836,384 vote outcome.

The lieutenant governor race was between two Democrat candidates Eleni Kounalaskis and Ed Hernandez. Kounalakis was far ahead with 3,228,283 votes to Hernandez’s 2,572,644.

Channce Condit1.jpg
Channce Condit was unopposed for the Ceres City Council District #1 seat occupied by Ken Lane. - photo by Jeff Benziger
Linda Ryno
Linda Ryno defeated Gene Yeakley Tuesday to serve another four years on the Ceres City Council.