Local Election

Samra captures Livingston mayor race. About 20 votes separate council frontrunners

Councilman Gurpal Samra speaks on Dec. 20, 2016, in the Livingston City Council chambers.
Councilman Gurpal Samra speaks on Dec. 20, 2016, in the Livingston City Council chambers. tmiller@mercedsunstar.com

Former Livingston mayor Gurpal Samra is emerging as the favorite to win the four-way Livingston mayoral race, according to preliminary results.

Samra was holding a handy lead with 36.94 percent of the vote compared to challengers Juan Aguilar Jr., Mario Luera, and Alex McCabe, according to preliminary election results available Wednesday. Mayor Jim Soria did not seek reelection.

Here is the latest vote breakdown, according to preliminary results.

  • Samra; 555 votes, 36.94 percent
  • Aguilar: 432 votes, 28.05 percent
  • McCabe: 430 votes, 27.92 percent
  • Luera: 120 votes, 7.79 percent

If elected, Samra said he will use his prior experience as mayor and a city council member to resolve water issues in the community, form a general plan for the city and work on revenue sharing with Merced County, according to a campaign statement to the Sun-Star.

In addition to fixing the city water’s high trichloropropane, or TCP, levels, Samra wants to help craft and steer the city’s general plan to include city expansion. That expansion also comes with the need for a new fire station, construction of a new sports field and a “need to connect Winton Parkway with F St.,” Samra states.

It is a crowded field vying for three Livingston City Council seats up for election Tuesday. Here are the preliminary results:

Hopefuls for one of the three seats were separated by few votes in a crowded ballot. The candidates: Gagandeep Kang had 16.36 percent; Raul Garcia had 15.73 percent; Garry Gurpreet Singh had 9.86 percent; Maria Baptista Soto had 14.78 percent; Jason Roth had 8.38 percent; Elias Jesus Maldonado III had 10.85 percent; Jay Abrams had 6.56 percent; and Mucio Vera Jr. had 7.68 and Roberto Godinez had 9.56.

Two Livingston Union Elementary School District board members are running for re-election.

Farmer Rigo Espinoza emerged with a substantial lead, carrying 45.91 percent of the vote. Moran was in second with 32.08 percent and Flores had 21.8, according to preliminary results.

Area 4 Board Member Yolanda L. Pulido Correia coasted to victory over challenger Johnny Guillen with 63.93 percent of the vote, preliminary results indicate.