Several elections decided in county

November 7, 2012 

— After a Web site crash delayed area election results late into Tuesday night, the Merced County Registrar of Voter's office released final preliminary results for the 2012 election early Wednesday morning, with all 126 precincts reporting.

The latest results confirmed the win by incumbent Merced County District 1 Supervisor John Pedrozo, who defeated challenger Jim Pacheco with 3,863 votes, or 62 percent, compared to Pacheco's 2,346 votes, or 37.6 percent.

Democrat Adam Gray won handily with 46,191 votes, or 56.1 percent, in Assembly District 21, which includes Merced County and southwest Stanislaus County. Republican Jack Mobley pulled in 36,080, or 43.9 percent.

All three incumbent members of the Merced Irrigation District lost board their seats.

Scott Koehn, a regional representative with Balchem Corp., won 2,080 votes, or about 58.7 percent, in Division 2, which includes south Merced and El Nido. Incumbent Gino Pedretti received 1,439 votes, or 40.6 percent.

Kevin Gonzalves, a Winton almond farmer, won with 2,200 votes, or 55.4 percent, in Division 4, which includes the cities of Livingston, Cressey, Winton and a small part of Atwater. Incumbent Suzy Hultgren received 1,746 votes, or 44 percent.

Meanwhile, dairyman Billy Pimentel, a former board member, prevailed with 4,819 votes, or 61.4 percent, in the contest for Division 5, which encompasses most of Atwater and the area southwest of the city. Incumbent Wil Hunter received 2,995 votes, or 38.1 percent.

The updated numbers showed that in Atwater, Larry Bergman, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection captain, gathered more votes than any other council hopeful with 3,452, or 37.8 percent.

Incumbent candidate Joe Rivero secured the second-highest vote total at 2,394, or 26.2 percent, and will return for a third term on the council.

Falling short on council bids were incumbent Councilman Gary Frago and challenger Daniel Hernandez, who got 894 votes, or 9.8 percent, and 1,987 votes, or 21.7 percent, respectively.

Write-in candidate Bob Miller, a former Atwater planning commissioner, didn't garner enough support -- 411 votes -- to win one of the two spots on the council.

Livingston residents voted to keep Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza in office for another two years. He beat challenger Mike Sperry with 1,383 votes to Sperry's 556 votes.

A slew of candidates fought for three seats on the Livingston City Council. Jim Soria, a retired police officer, got the most votes with 853, or 22.8 percent. Also winning seats on the council were business owner Arturo Sicairos with 732 votes, or 19.6 percent, and postal worker David Mendoza with 704 votes, or 18.9 percent.

Incumbent Councilwoman Theresa Land fell short with 621 votes, or 16.6 percent, as did electrician Nemesio Alcazar Jr. with 272 votes, or 7.3 percent, and council hopeful Romey Phangureh with 528 votes, or 14.1 percent.

City Clerk Antonio Silva ran unopposed and retained his spot.

Business owner Maria Ribeiro was voted in as treasurer with 722 votes, or 39.6 percent. Political blogger Katherine Schell fell short with 596 votes, or 32.7 percent, as did Warren Urnberg, who served a stint on the council, but only garnered 500 votes, or 27.4 percent, in his bid for treasurer.

Johnny Mays was elected as mayor of Dos Palos, having run unopposed. Dennis Brazil was elected as mayor of Gustine; he also ran unopposed.

On the Dos Palos City Council, educator Michael McGlynn and incumbent Jerry Antonetti were both leading the race for the two seats with 260 votes, or 27.7 percent, and 255 votes, or 27.2 percent, respectively. But the race is too close to call, with incumbent Alice Thompson close behind with 251 votes, or 26.8 percent.

Many absentee ballots turned in at the polls and provisional ballots still need to be counted and could alter the outcome of the election.

But business owner Clint Dona came up far short and won't make it onto the Dos Palos City Council, with only 166 votes, or 17.7 percent.

On the Gustine City Council, incumbent Lynn Schultz won't take back his seat with 347 votes, or 26.3 percent. Incumbent Joe Oliveira and educator Julie Anderson did win the two seats up for election with 509 votes, or 38.6 percent, and 451 votes, or 34.2 percent, respectively.

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