The latest voting results for the 2022 General Election show that there may be some shakeups for the Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees. While incumbents Lori Carlson and Mary Jackson enter Wednesday with strong leads, newcomers Paola Maldonado-Padilla and Rupinder Singh Jagpal are making things interesting in a pair of tight races.
In Area 2, incumbent and current Board President Carlson leads with 70.6% of the vote over challenger Shenique Teixeira Borunda, who has earned 29.4% of votes.
“Initial results have me feeling cautiously optimistic about our work ahead and grateful for the support I’ve received to continue leading on behalf of students in TUSD,” Carlson said.
Meanwhile over in Area 4, incumbent Jackson compiled 54.93% of the vote while challenger Jeff C. Nichols had 45.07%.
But where things really start to get interesting is in Areas 3 and 6.
In Area 3, Maldonado-Padilla leads incumbent Kenneth D. Howenstine with 55% of the vote. Maldonado-Padilla spoke about her experience being a first-time candidate and explained what it means to her to be able to hold a lead heading into Wednesday.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” Maldonado-Padilla said. “It was really fulfilling and nice to connect with more parents and learning all these people’s needs. I’m feeling truly blessed. It’s emotional and I’m still nervous. It’s in the Lord’s hands and I’m pretty sure we’re going in the right direction. I did all I could, everything I was capable of.”
In Area 6, Jagpal leads incumbent Jeffrey Cortinas with 50.83% of the vote. Jagpal’s lead stands at a miniscule 1.66%.
Cortinas acknowledged the very real possibility that he could lose his race. Regardless, he remained optimistic that he can make a late run while giving praise to his opponent.
“No matter what happens, I’ll just take a breath. Whatever happens, I'm going to accept the results. Even if it’s by one vote, I’ll say, ‘Congratulations, Mr. Jagpar. No hard feelings, wish you the best of luck.’ Turlock will survive and some great ideas will come from both sides,” Cortinas said.
Cortinas added that his time on the campaign trail this year has been a breath of fresh of air compared to last time, expressing how proud he is that he and the other Board members and candidates have engaged in healthier and more understanding conversations and debates.
“Everybody is a great person and it’s just been a really great experience,” Cortinas said. “I tell people that it’s been really peaceful this time around. I don't know what it was, it was just like, we're having fun… Me and some of the other Board members and some of the challengers don’t agree on everything and at times we haven’t gotten along in the past, but I’d like to think we’ve rebuilt those relationships and that we’ve handled things well.”
Community members are encouraged to check back in with the Turlock Journal online for the latest results on TUSD Board elections.