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Ochoa defeated by Mike Kline in City Council race
Incumbent Ceres City Councilman Guillermo Ochoa lost his bid for re-election Tuesday as challenger Mike Kline surpassed him in votes.

With all of Ceres' 24 precincts reported, Kline, a member of the Ceres Planning Commission, had collected 1,009 votes to surpass Ochoa who rounded up 918 votes.

Bret Durossette, another City Council incumbent, collected the most votes for a four-year term at 1,143.

Also defeated was Daniel Padilla, who received 885 votes.

Filling the vacant seat on the City Council with two years remaining will be Eric Ingwerson, a real estate agent and former mayor. Ingwerson handily won with 915 votes, or 38.49 percent, defeating Linda Ryno (794 votes, or 33.4 percent) and Hugo D. Molina who collected 661 votes, or 27.81 percent.

Ceres Mayor Chris Vierra, who was unopposed in the election, collected 2,062 votes. A total of 72 voters didn't like the choice and offered names of write-in candidates.

Kline ran on a "Hire Ceres First" platform and promoting jobs in Ceres. Critics called Kline a job killer since as a planning commissioner he voted against the Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center and its anchor tenant of the Walmart Supercenter.

Ochoa had been appointed to the Ceres City Council in December 2005 to fill an seat vacated by Anthony Cannella who then was elevated to mayor. Ochoa was ran for and won re-election four years ago.

Ochoa attributed his defeat to Daniel Padilla splitting the vote amongst Latino voters.

"Unfortunately he was going around telling the Hispanic voters that I was a Republican and he was a Democrat," said Ochoa, "and unfortunately Latinos are very gullible."

Ochoa is a registered Republican but stated Padilla's last vote was made as a registered Republican before switching parties.

"To me, that's a dirty trick," said Ochoa.

"I'm sorry Ochoa feels that way," responded Padilla. "It's not a personal thing." He added that he has "always been a Democrat."

County elections records revealed Padilla only voted three times in the last 21 elections.

"I am very grateful that the amount of people who voted for me, first time running," said Padilla. "I'm from the lower middle class and a working class citizen."

Ochoa said he enjoyed being a connection of the Latino community to the city and extended help wherever he could.

"I serve as a representative of the Latino community. But I have a lot of faith that the City Council will continue meeting the needs of the Latino community.

"I have no regrets. I learned a lot in my six years there and made a lot of friends."

Incumbent City Treasurer Harry Herbert was unopposed in Tuesday's election and received 2,002 votes, or 97.9 percent. A total of 43 voters wrote in other names.

Teresa Guerrero won back a seat on the Ceres Unified School District board of trustees. Guerrero was defeated for re-election two years ago. With complete returns from all 37 precincts within CUSD, Guerrero was top vote-getter with 1,476 votes, or 53.77 percent, over Brian Kline, who picked up 1,246 votes, or 45.39 percent.

Also returning to the School Board are uncontested trustees Jim Kinard and Faye Lane. Their names did not appear on the ballot since they had no opposition.

In the Keyes Union School District, Tammy L. Suarez was victorious with 140 votes, or 39.44 percent, as well as Bob Edwards, who had 116 votes, or 32.68 percent. Defeated was Carlos Jimenez who amassed 98 votes, or 27.61 percent.

In the Keyes Community Services District, Casey Chadwick and Mike Bernal were the declared winners. Chadwick had collected 82 votes, or 32.41 percent, while Bernal picked up 78 votes, or 30.83 percent. Defeated were Roberto Jimenez (50 votes, or 19.76 percent) and William Alexander (43 votes, or 17 percent).

In Turlock Irrigation District Division 1, incumbent director Michael Frantz of Hickman was re-election over Christopher Barth of Hughson. Frantz earned 2,823 votes (73.75 percent) to Barth's 983 (25.68 percent).