Updated results from Merced County’s June 7 election show two candidates challenging longtime incumbents on the Board of Supervisors have further widened their leads, according to figures released Thursday.
In the District 1 race, Livingston Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza leads Supervisor John Pedrozo by 440 votes as of Thursday afternoon, when the county registrar of voters office added in results from mail-in ballots turned in or postmarked by June 7. Espinoza has drawn 54.71 percent of the votes to 45.07 percent for Pedrozo, who was first elected to the board in 2004.
In District 2, challenger Lee Lor, a longtime community leader, increased her lead over Hub Walsh, who is seeking his third term. Thursday’s count gave Lor 3,694 votes, or 39.73 percent, to Walsh’s 3,537 votes, or 38.04 percent.
Lor and Walsh will advance to a runoff election in November. A third contender for the district seat, Casey Steed, drew 2,060 votes, or 22.16 percent.
Merced County Registrar Barbara Levey said that, as of Thursday afternoon, approximately 3,170 ballots remained to be reviewed and processed, including 2,897 provisional ballots.
Levey said the remaining ballots could be tallied and the results updated by June 24.
Across Merced County, there were 35,983 ballots cast, according to the figures posted Thursday. Voters are able to vote for the Board of Supervisors candidates if they are registered as living in one of the three districts whose seats are up for election this year.
The other open seat is District 4, which is being vacated by retiring Supervisor Deirdre Kelsey. Merced River school board trustee Lloyd Pareira leads the field of five candidates in that race with 2,651 votes, or 42.68 percent, and is expected to face former Gustine Mayor Rich Ford in the November runoff. As of Thursday afternoon, Ford had 1,406 votes, or 22.63 percent. Results for other candidates in the race were: Fidel Cervantes with 968 votes, or 15.58 percent; Jack Mobley with 782, or 12.59 percent; and Ramon Prado with 401, or 6.46 percent.
The county must certify all votes by July 7.