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Election Day 2012: Bublak, Nascimento lead City Council race; Obama wins second term

Election Day 2012: Bublak, Nascimento lead City Council race; Obama wins second term

Turlock City Council Candidate Steven Nascimento checks results on his laptop Tuesday night, with wife Alexis Nascimento and newborn baby Levi.

POSTED November 6, 2012 11:25 p.m.

Late on Tuesday, with the dust still settling from the hectic day of voting, Turlockers appear to have relected Amy Bublak to the Turlock City Council alongside newcomer Steven Nascimento, a Parks, Recreation, and Community commissioner and district director for State Sen. Anthony Cannella (R).

“It’s still early, so we’re cautiously optimistic,” Nascimento said. “… It’s hard to really gauge where we are. If this keeps up, we’re looking good.”

Bublak, too, was cautious to declare victory despite holding 31.72 percent of the vote at the Journal’s deadline. But, should things go well, she said she looked forward to spending the next four years making sure Turlock is the “cream of the crop.”

Bublak also said she enjoyed the tenor of this council campaign, much more subdued than the 2008 race which saw robocalls, questions about the ethics of fundraisers, and negative campaigning from all sides.

“I was not fond of how it went four years ago at all,” Bublak said. “It was nice to just put your information out there and not have everything turned negative.”

Incumbent Mary Jackson trailed Nascimento by just 300 votes – 2.4 percent – at the Journal’s deadline, with 54 percent of precincts reporting.

Livingston postal worker Sergio Alvarado trailed in fourth place, with 10 percent of the total vote, but said he was “blown away” by the support he received in the race and was encouraged by the positive nature of the council race. Alvarado said he was not discouraged, but thrilled, and hoped to remain involved in Turlock.

“To whomever the winner may be, good luck,” Alvarado said. “I congratulate you, and I wish you nothing but the best.”

The narrow results follow a busy day of voting in Turlock, with lines forming at some polling places even before doors opened at 7 a.m.

As of 5 p.m., 298 votes had been cast at the Magic Sands Mobile Home Park polling place on Soderquist Road. That’s far above the roughly 100 votes cast during a non-Presidential election at the polling place, according to Poll Inspector Debbie Cardoza, who has worked the polls for more than 15 years.

“It’s been very busy,” Cardoza said, as a line of about 10 voters waited outside to cast their ballots.

Things were even more hectic at the Turlock Junior High School polling place, where 437 votes had been cast by 5:30 p.m. on an “incredibly busy” day. Poll workers said they hadn’t even had a chance to eat Tuesday, as lines of 20 or more voters waited outside.

In addition to the numerous traditional ballots cast, each polling place had scores of provisional ballots – cast by individuals who were, for some reason, not on the voting rosters – and dozens more vote-by mail ballots dropped off on Election Day. Those ballots won’t be tabulated by the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office until later this week.

Despite the high demand, poll workers said Election Day had gone smoothly, with a steady flow of voters moving swiftly through polling places. Voters at TJHS said they waited 20 minutes to vote, at most.

Voters all had their own reasons to cast their ballots, with many drawn by the Presidential tilt won by incumbent Barack Obama (D) over challenging Mass. Gov. Mitt. Romney (R). Others said they were simply doing their civic duty, or attempting to make a difference in the world. Some children said they were only there for the “I Voted” sticker.

Many voters said they were drawn to the polls by key issues. For voter Lucia Escalera, education and immigration ranked as high priorities. She said she looked online to see which candidates and propositions best meshed with her personal views.

“I pretty much went by what I Googled,” Escalera said. “… Hopefully, it was right. Maybe I should have Binged.”

As of the Journal’s deadline, incumbent U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham held an 11-point lead over challenger Jose Hernandez (D), a former astronaut. Incumbent State Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen (R) also held a seemingly insurmountable 27 point lead over challenger Christopher Mateo (D).

Incumbent U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein looks to retain her post as well, with 57.2 percent of the vote, compared to 42.8 percent for challenger Elizabeth Emken (R).

Many state ballot measures were exceedingly close as of the Journal’s deadline, with less than 20 percent of the total vote counted statewide.

Proposition 30 trailed by 3.6 percent, potentially creating a nightmare scenario for schools which will have to absorb $6 billion in trigger cuts. The other proposition to benefit education, Prop 38, looks to fail handily, with just 25.5 percent in favor.

Prop 32, which would affect payroll contributions made to political candidates and diminish the political power of unions, was close as well, with 48 percent in favor and 52 percent against.

Only four propositions were on track to pass at the Journal’s deadline: Prop 35, which places stricter penalties on human trafficking had an 83 percent approval rating; Prop 36, which alters the Three Strikes Law, had 68 percent of voters in favor; Prop 39, which changes business taxation laws and funds new energy efficiency measures, led 59 percent to 41 percent; and Prop 40, which confirmed State Senate District boundaries and had no opposition, led 74 percent to 26 percent.

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