Merced County District 3 Supervisor Linn Davis was voted out of office in Tuesday’s primary election after serving just one term.
The incumbent was beaten by two of his three opponents, Tony Dossetti – a Merced city councilman and former police chief – and Atwater businessman Daron McDaniel. Those two will face off in November for the seat on the Board of Supervisors.
With all 24 precincts reporting, Dossetti finished first with 39 percent and McDaniel was second with 34 percent. Davis finished in third place, earning 20 percent. William Snyder III trailed in fourth place with 7 percent.
Because no candidate earned a majority, Dossetti, 64, and McDaniel, 49, will duke it out in the November general election.
McDaniel and Dossetti each began campaigning for the office as early as 2013. Both candidates raised close to $28,000 in contributions, canvassed the county with political signs and campaigned on Facebook.
But in the end it was Dossetti who finished first, relying on his track record as a Merced politician.
“I know how to do the background work,” Dossetti said during his campaign gathering Tuesday at Sweet River Grill & Bar. “I know what it takes, what you look for, what kind of questions you need to be asking – and that only comes from experience.”
Dossetti said he was hoping to win the election outright but that he’s ready to continue his campaign until November.
McDaniel said Tuesday he was excited to make it to the top two and that the results were “exactly what he planned.”
“You work hard with the mentality that you’d like to win outright, but with four people, you know there’s no way,” McDaniel said. “We already have a strategy going into November, and our plan worked the way we wanted it to up to this point. Now the work really begins.”
Dossetti, who holds a master’s degree from California State University, Stanislaus, has sat on the Merced City Council for the past two years. He served as the chief of the Merced Police Department from 1999 to 2005.
McDaniel, who majored in economics at Merced College and Stanislaus State, is a congressional aide to Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, an Atwater small-business owner and nonprofit founder.
Davis, 70, retired from the Air Force in 1989 after a 22-year military career and lives in Atwater with his wife. Born and raised in West Virginia, he holds degrees from Salem College and the University of Arkansas.
He was elected to the Merced County Board of Supervisors in 2010. Davis did not return calls for comment.
If elected to office, McDaniel said his three goals will be job creation, revitalizing the former Castle Air Force Base and managing Merced County’s groundwater.
Dossetti said his goals will be job creation, economic development and public safety.
District 3 covers Atwater, north Merced, Franklin-Beachwood and McSwain.
Sun-Star staff writer Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.