Final Merced County Elections results posted on Tuesday declared winners in many close school board races, giving the green light for newly elected officials to take their oaths.
Barbara Levey, Merced County Registrar of Voters, on Tuesday certified the November election, which reported record-high turnout for the county.
The results confirmed Mike Murphy will be the next Merced mayor and Lee Lor has defeated incumbent Hub Walsh for the District 2 seat on the Merced County Board of Supervisors, and voters approved Measure V, a county transportation tax aimed at fixing county roads.
It was a tough year to be an incumbent candidate in Merced County, as many were ousted by challengers.
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Ernie Ochoa won the Area 2 seat on the Merced College Board of Trustees, beating incumbent Gary Arzamendi with 51.44 percent of the votes. Attorney L. Carmen Ramirez won the most votes for the Area 3 seat against incumbent Wayne Hicks and challenger Alice Berger Contreras.
In the Los Banos Unified School District, where some board members have been embroiled in a corruption scandal, challengers beat incumbents in all three races. Tommy Jones, Carole Duffy and Dominic Falasco all were unseated, though Falasco trailed challenger Gary Munoz by only three votes.
In Merced Union High School District, incumbent Phil Schiber lost his seat to Julio Valadez. John Medearis was elected to the Area 4 seat currently held by Dora Crane, who chose not to seek re-election.
On the Merced City School District governing board, Emily Langdon, Michael Crass and Miguel Lopez won seats.
In Atwater, Cindy Vierra and Paul Creighton won seats on the City Council, ousting incumbent Larry Bergman.
More than 72,600 voters cast ballots in the November election.
“This is believed to be the largest percentage of ballots cast in Merced County election history,” Levey said. “The previous high turnout is believed to be 71.72 percent in the presidential general election of November 1992.”
Most newly elected officials will take their oaths in December and assume their new positions in January.
Brianna Calix: 209-385-2477