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April 8, 2020

South County voters turn out for election

SOUTH COUNTY — Voters in South County made their voices heard last Tuesday by choosing between various candidates for local city councils, school boards and other special district governing bodies in the area.

Monterey County Elections officials are continuing to tally ballots cast in the Nov. 6 Statewide General Election, releasing the latest results last Friday. Voter turnout was reported at 43.8 percent, or 82,213 of 187,350 registered voters in the county.

“County elections officials are hard at work processing and counting ballots,” said Secretary of State Alex Padilla in a news release. “Ensuring the accuracy and the integrity of the vote count is critical to our democracy. State law gives county elections officials up to 30 days after Election Day to complete vote counting, auditing and certification. In California, we work to ensure every ballot is counted properly and every ballot is accounted for,” Padilla added.

Monterey County’s next report with updated results will be released later today, Nov. 14.

County elections officials have up to 30 days after Election Day to complete their tallying, and must report their final results to the Secretary of State by Dec. 7.


City councils and mayors

King City was relatively quiet this election cycle, as current Councilmember Darlene Acosta and Mayor Mike LeBarre ran unopposed for city council seats in Districts 1 and 2, respectively. As of Friday’s results, Acosta received 202 votes and LeBarre earned 115 in their respective districts.

Voters in Greenfield have chosen a new mayor and two new city council members, though the races are still close. As of the latest results, Lance Walker is in the lead to become the city’s next mayor, receiving 773 votes, or 45.85 percent, followed by Avelina Torres (649 votes, or 38.49 percent) and Raul Rodriguez (264 votes, or 15.66 percent).

Greenfield City Council candidates Drew Tipton and Angela Untalon are currently ahead for the two positions available. Tipton has earned 622 votes, or 22.94 percent, while Untalon has received 605 votes, or 22.32 percent, followed by Irene Garcia (583 votes, or 21.50 percent), Jessica Madrid-Bautista (550 votes, or 20.29 percent) and David Mendoza (351 votes, or 12.95 percent).

Soledad Mayor Fred Ledesma, who ran unopposed for another term, was elected again with 1,214 votes. Voters also decided on two city council members, with Marisela Lara receiving the most votes (819, or 36.61 percent), followed by incumbent Alejandro Chavez (733, or 32.77 percent). Richard Perez trailed with 685 votes, or 30.62 percent.

In Gonzales, Mayor Maria Orozco was re-elected with 774 votes, or 79.79 percent, defeating challenger Henry Martinez Jr., who received 196 votes, or 20.21 percent. Four candidates competed for three spots on the Gonzales City Council, with the most votes going to Paul Miller (690, or 32.21 percent), incumbent Elizabeth Silva (640, or 29.88 percent) and Lorraine Worthy (595, or 27.78 percent), while Henry Martinez Sr. received 217 votes, or 10.13 percent.


School boards

San Antonio Union School District Board had three four-year positions available, with the most votes currently going to Sandra Soares (327, or 29.65 percent), Amy Sweet (304, 27.56 percent) and Eric Johansen (287, or 26.02 percent), with Nicholas Kennedy (99, or 8.98 percent) and incumbent Shellie Kennedy (86, or 7.80 percent) trailing. A two-year position was also up for election, with Dennis Walters (282 votes, or 66.20 percent) defeating appointed incumbent Jason Soares (144 votes, or 33.80 percent).

In Greenfield, seven candidates were vying for three positions on the Greenfield Union School District Board. As of Friday’s results, the top vote-getters were Cynthia Aguirre (1,078 votes, or 26.76 percent), David Kong (524 votes, or 13.01 percent) and both Marisol Arizpe and incumbent Juergen Smith, who each received 493 votes, or 12.24 percent. Following closely behind are Denise Jaime (492 votes, or 12.21 percent), John Ekelund (486 votes, or 12.06 percent) and Eric Jones (463 votes, or 11.49 percent).

Two four-year positions were up for grabs on the Soledad Unified School District Board, with Alfredo Flores (919 votes, or 35.84 percent) and Monica Pantoja (789 votes, or 30.77 percent) securing the spots. Jodi Massa trailed with 433 votes, or 16.89 percent, followed by incumbent Jaime Fernandez with 423 votes, or 16.50 percent. Voters also chose between Jess Barreras and Lucio Rios for a two-year position, with Barreras currently leading with 810 votes, or 51.14 percent, to Rios’ 774 votes, or 48.86 percent.

Three board member positions were decided for Gonzales Unified School District, with the most votes going to Maria Cuevas (721, or 25.36 percent), Jose Lopez (702, or 24.69 percent) and appointed incumbent Araceli Flores (679, or 23.88 percent), while incumbent Rosalie Sanchez (462, or 16.25 percent) and Monique Martinez (279, or 9.81 percent) trailed behind.

In Chualar, the race is too close to call for two positions for the Chualar Union Elementary School District Board Member Trustee Area 3. The latest results show Alberto Contreras leading with 55 votes, or 22.82 percent, followed by a tie between Ofelia Flores and Esperanza Rangel, who each received 51 votes, or 21.16 percent. Trailing are Miriam Trujillo (40 votes, or 16.60 percent), Rosalba Moreno (25 votes, or 10.37 percent) and incumbent Rosa Manriquez (19 votes, or 7.88 percent).


Special districts

Soledad Community Health Care District had two director positions up for election, with incumbents Jack Franscioni (934 votes, or 41.02 percent) and Anne Trebino (791 votes, or 34.74 percent) defeating Robert Bigiogni (552 votes, 24.24 percent).


Districtwide contests

In the local districtwide contests, the latest election results are the following: Board of Equalization Member District 2 — Malia Cohen (DEM) with 70.4 percent of the vote to Mark Burns’ (REP) 29.6 percent; U.S. House of Representatives District 20 — incumbent Jimmy Panetta (DEM) with 79.3 percent of the vote to Ronald Kabat’s (NPP) 20.7 percent; State Senate District 12 — Anna Caballero (DEM) with 52.2 percent of the vote to Rob Poythress’ (REP) 47.8 percent; State Assembly District 29 — Mark Stone (DEM) with 69.1 percent of the vote to Vicki Nohrden’s (REP) 30.9 percent; and State Assembly District 30 — Robert Rivas (DEM) with 65.3 percent of the vote to Neil Kitchens’ (REP) 34.7 percent.

For complete statewide election results, go online to


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