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Matthew Hedger
06/06/2014 1:23 PM

Oneto, Rouen win, Novelli faces Fall runoff with Morgan.

By Matthew Hedger

mhedger@ledger-dispatch.com

Tepid voter turnout in Amador and Calaveras counties mirrored statewide numbers and left several elected offices headed for a November runoff.

In the race for Amador Supervisor District 3, incumbent Ted Novelli found himself tied with challenger Lynn Morgan at 576 votes each as 100 percent of the precincts turned in their numbers as of 9:54 p.m. on Election Day. Another challenger for the job, Mike Spence, garnered a respectable 510 votes, and there were three write-in votes cast for others. Novelli and Morgan will face each other again in November when voters will head to the polls for the General Election.

Amador Supervisor Brian Oneto received 942 votes — 52.89 percent — to retain his seat on the board, narrowly edging out challenger Daniel D’Agostini, who received 833 votes — 46.77 percent.

The race to fill the Amador County Auditor job being vacated by incumbent Joe Lowe went back and forth during the evening hours as the votes were being tallied. In the end, Tacy Oneto Rouen received 4,449 — 60.32 percent — to take the job over Kim Burke, who received 2,915 votes.

On the Calaveras County side of the Mokelumne River, one vote was all that separated two supervisorial candidates for that county’s District 5 seat. After a back-and-forth tally all evening, Martha “Marti” Crane was credited with 518 votes — 30.08 percent — while Steven Kearney received 519 votes, or 30.14 percent. Incumbent Darren Spellman garnered 387 votes, while challenger Roy Estakhri received 297. Crane and Kearney will face each other again in a run-off in November.

Incumbent District 3 Supervisor Merita Callaway’s 1,008 votes — 39.38 percent — means she will again face challenger Michael C. Oliveira in November. Oliveira garnered 841 votes — 32.85 percent — while Mike Borean came in third with 707 votes, a 27.62-percent showing.

In the race for Calaveras Sheriff, incumbent Gary Kuntz received 5,601 votes — 56.18 percent — to beat challenger Patrick Garrahan, who received 4,353 votes.

In the race for Judge of the Superior Court Department 1 in Calaveras, Grant Barrett received 4,230 votes compared to the 2,614 received by Kenneth M. Foley and the 2,839 votes cast for Dana Leanne Pfeil. Barrett and Pfeil will hit the campaign trail and again face each other in November.

The Superior Court Judge Department 2 race saw Hugh Swift, the former head of the Amador County courts, garner 4,701 votes, a 48.97 percent showing in that race. Tim Healy received 3,411 votes and John J. Trifilo garnered 1,471 to come in third. Swift and Healy will also face each other again at the polls in November.

In Amador, Proposition 41, “Veterans Housing and Homeless Bond Act of 2014, passed with 4,591 yes votes — 59.6 percent. Proposition 42, “Public Records, Open Meetings, State Reimbursement to Local Agencies. A Legislative Constitutional Amendment,” failed, receiving only 3,431 yes votes, or 45.6 percent.

In Calaveras, there were 5,587 votes for Proposition 41 — 56.4 percent — while Proposition 42 was also locally panned, receiving 4,495 votes — just 46.7 percent. Statewide, Proposition 41 garnered 65.4 percent of the yes vote as of 3:08 a.m. June 4, and Proposition 42 was affirmed by 61.5 percent of those who voted.

In Amador, out of 21,200 registered voters, only 8,239 cast votes — a dismal 38.9 percent. Calaveras nearly mirrored that percentage. From a possible 27,263 registered voters, 10,493 went to the polls — 38.5 percent.

Our neighbor to the northeast, Alpine County, had the highest percentage turnout of the voting populace in the state — 69.5 percent — as well as the smallest number of registered voters — out of 766, 532 showed up to vote.

Los Angeles County, with its huge population, took the distinction of having the lowest voter turnout in the state, a mere 13.1 percent — 636,186 voters cast ballots out of a registered voter list of 4,857,424.

In the race for California Governor, incumbent and Democrat Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown received 3,515 votes in Amador County, and 4,388 in Calaveras. He will face Republican challenger Neel Kashkari in November. Kashkari received 1,967 votes in Amador, and 2,598 in Calaveras. His main opponent in the race, besides Brown, was Republican Tim Donnelly, who garnered 1,630 votes in Amador and 1,970 in Calaveras. Statewide, Brown received 1,716, 920 votes — 54.5 percent — while Kashkari received 599,543, and Donnelly 467,655. Brown and Kashkari will face off in the partisan race for the gubernatorial top job in November.

State Senator Tom Berryhill, who represents both Calaveras and Amador counties, within the state’s 8th District, beat challenger Paulina Miranda with 6,250 votes in Calaveras, and 4,771 in Amador. However, because of the state’s Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act rules, which created “voter-nominated candidates,” Berryhill will again face Miranda in the General Election in November. All candidates for voter-nominated offices are listed on one ballot and only the top two vote-getters in the primary election – regardless of party preference - move on to the general election.

The top two vote-getters move on to the general election regardless of candidate pool size, party preference, or whether one candidate receives the majority of all votes cast in the primary election. Only candidates running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction or candidates for voter-nominated offices in special elections can win outright by getting a majority of the vote — 50 percent plus 1 vote — in the primary election.

District 5 Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, running unopposed, also represents both counties, and received 7,413 affirmative votes in Calaveras, and 5,680 in Amador. Write-in votes in that race tallied 251, although the names of those write-in vote-getters have not been released. However, a write-in candidate can conceivably move on to the general election if the candidate is one of the top two vote-getters in the primary election. United States Representative for District 4 incumbent Tom McClintock garnered 4,284 votes in Amador, and 5,692 in Calaveras, defeating challengers Jeffrey D. Gerlach and Arthur “Art” Moore, who received 2,079 and 1,729 votes, respectively. McClintock and Gerlach will again be on the ballot come November.

In other statewide contests, Democrat Gavin Newsom beat a field of seven challengers and a write-in vote in his bid to retain his Lt. Governor job for another term. Newsom garnered 3,901 votes in Calaveras, 2,983 in Amador and 1,517,758 statewide. He will face Republican challenger Ron Nehring in November. Nehring’s votes netted him the second place winner in both Amador and Calaveras, as well as statewide. Pete Peterson and Alex Padilla will have a run off for Secretary of State, John A. Perez and Ashley Swearengin will vie to be the next Controller and Greg Conlon will face incumbent John Chiang for the State Treasurer’s office. Kamala Harris will seek to retain her Attorney General job against second-place statewide primary finisher Ronald Gold. Former Senator Ted Gaines, who seeks to reenter public service at the Insurance Commissioner post will face incumbent Dave Jones, and incumbent Tom Torlakson will face Marshall Tuck for the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Many local offices in both Amador and Calaveras counties saw incumbents run opposed during this primary election. Full results can be studied at http://clerk.calaverasgov.us/Elections/ElectionResults.aspx#PR and http://www.co.amador.ca.us/government/elections/election-results/2014-primary-election-results, as well as on the California Secretary of State site, at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/

According to elections officials, between 55 and 60 percent of Amador County’s registered voters are permanent vote-by-mail voters.

A close contest is described by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen as contests in which there is less than a two-percent difference between second and third place for candidates or between yes and no votes for ballot measures. Election results will change throughout the 28-day canvass period as vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots and other ballots are tallied.

All of the figures contained in this article were compiled from the “semi-official” results released Wednesday by Bowen’s office, as well as preliminary results posted by county elections offices, which must report their final official results to Bowen by July 4.

As of press time Thursday, Amador elections officials said approximately 1,000 votes — mostly mail-in ballots hand-delivered on Election Day, were still being counted.

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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