In the closest city council race Turlock has seen in quite awhile, Amy Bublak was announced the official winner of the District 4 seat on Monday. After all the votes had been counted, incumbent Bublak received 33 more votes than fellow candidate and council incumbent Steven Nascimento — who had been leading since Election Day.
"I'm very happy and humbled by the results," said Bublak. "And I'm looking forward to four more years."
Bublak received a total of 2,783 votes to Nascimento's 2,750 and Donald Babadalir's 297 votes in the District 4 race. District 4 starts at Almond Avenue to the south and jags north to Fulkerth Road to Tegner Road. The district runs north from Almond Avenue along Geer Road, then veers west on Tuolumne, north on Andre Lane, west on Monte Vista Avenue, and north again on Crowell Road to Taylor Road.
Nascimento said he was "surprised and disappointed" by the final results, however, he was "proud of the great group of supporters" who helped him throughout the campaign.
This was Turlock's first by-district election and both Bublak and Nascimento said it was a more focused race.
"It gave me the opportunity to meet almost every person (in the district)," said Bublak about her first district campaign. She said she walked her entire district three times during the campaign, knocking on doors and talking with potential voters.
Nascimento said the by-district race allowed him to become more familiar with neighborhood-specific issues, like road conditions and the need for safe routes to school.
Bublak, a retired police officer, has been on the council since 2008. Looking forward, Bublak said she will be focused on hiring Turlock's next police chief and addressing crime issues and trends.
"Everyone want to feel safe," she said.
Water and roads are two other areas that Bublak said she, along with the entire Council, will be focusing on in 2017 and beyond.
Nascimento, who was elected to the Council in 2012, said he plans to continue being involved in the community "anyway I can and am needed."
"I want to continue to be a force of good for our community," he said.
The close to 10,000 Turlock residents who voted in the city's first by-district council election on Nov. 8 were just a small part of Stanislaus County's historic voter turnout.
According to Stanislaus County Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan, 176,992 voters cast their ballots in the election, for a 73.38 percent voter turnout — the largest percentage of ballots cast and most voters casting ballots in Stanislaus County history.
In other local election results:Gil Esquer cemented his victory over Jaime Franco for the Turlock City Council District 2 race, earning 2,201 votes over Franco's 1,234;Diana Lewis will continue to be the City of Turlock Treasurer, after defeating Alex Kiehl 11,778 votes to 8,685;Turlock Unified School District Measures N and O — general obligation bond measures that will provide necessary funds to address educational and facility needs throughout the district — each received over the required 55 percent of the vote to pass. Measure N received 15,697 yes votes or 69.30 percent of the vote, while Measure O received 17,115 yes votes, or 67.85 percent of the vote; As of Monday, Republican Heath Flora is leading Republican Ken Vogel for State Assembly District 12 and Turlock Republican Jeff Denham is still leading Turlock Democratic challenger Michael Eggman, however, the Secretary of State has until Dec. 16 to certify the results of both of these races.
For complete election results visit stanvote.com for local races and vote.sos.ca.gov for statewide and district contests.