From Merced Irrigation District to Congress, many seats up for grabs

jsmith@mercedsunstar.comNovember 3, 2012 

Tuesday is the general election and Merced County residents have a number of local and regional races to consider.

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, faces off against Fresno attorney Brian Whelan for the newly drawn Congressional District 16, which includes all of Merced County, part of Madera County and about half the city of Fresno.

For state Assembly District 21, voters have a choice between Republican Jack Mobley and Democrat Adam Gray. The newly drawn district encompasses all of Merced County and the southwest section of Stanislaus County, including Ceres and parts of Modesto.

Residents in Livingston, south Merced and Planada will choose between incumbent John Pedrozo and challenger Jim Pacheco for Merced County Board of Supervisors District 1.

The Merced College Board of Trustees will have three seats open in Merced, Atwater and Chowchilla.

Residents in the cities of Merced, Atwater, Dos Palos, Gustine, Livingston and Los Banos, as well as the areas of Planada and Winton, will vote on several local races, including school board and city council elections.

The Merced Irrigation District Board of Trustees could see a shake up with three of the five seats up for grabs. Voters in south Merced and El Nido will select between incumbent Gino Pedretti, longtime El Nido farmer and Scott Koehn, regional sales manager with the Balchem Corp.

Livingston, Cressey, Winton and a few Atwater voters will chose between incumbent Suzy Hultgren, who is a Cressey dairy farmer, and Winton almond farmer Kevin Gonzalves for Division 4.

Incumbent Wil Hunter and former board member Billy Pimentel are the choices for voters in Division 5, which encompasses most of Atwater and the area southwest of the city.

For more information, contact the Merced County Registrar of Voters at (209) 385-7541.

Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or

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