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Final election results show close City Council race
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Turlock City Council Final Election Results

Candidate                           # of votes            % of vote

Bill DeHart                          4,555                     17.94%

Forrest White                   4,552                     17.93%

Timm LaVelle                     4,356                     17.16%

David “DJ” Fransen          4,034                     15.89%

Jeremy Rocha                    3,419                     13.46%

Shawn Barlow                   2,374                     9.35%

Pat Noda                             1,974                     7.77%

The votes have all been tallied, and one of Turlock’s closest City Council campaigns in recent history has come to a close.

Early election night results proved correct, with Bill DeHart and Forrest White winning the two vacant seats – but only three votes separated the two candidates when the counting was done.

“I appreciate the support that everyone gave me, and hope I can live up to their trust,” White said. “It’s something that’s kinda special. And I owe it to the people who supported me.”

DeHart, the director of marketing at Covenant Village who campaigned on common-sense leadership, claimed 4,555 votes and 17.94 percent of the total for a first-place finish. White, a former San Joaquin County Fair CEO and former Turlock Recreation manager, finished second with 4,552 votes, and 17.93 percent of the total.

Both men thanked supporters and expressed their excitement at the election results. They looked back at the election with positivity, especially considering the utter lack of muckraking.

“We were civil. We didn’t do any name calling or disparaging remarks, and that’s a good thing,” White said.

But both stressed that the hard work now lies before them, balancing a city budget $2.7 million in deficit and addressing a number of issues facing Turlock. In order to do that, both said, the council will need to be unified and open to suggestions from citizens, city staff, and city commissions.

“I think we have an opportunity to come together as a new city council and really go to work for the City of Turlock,” DeHart said. “… Let’s settle down, take it as it comes. Let’s depart from the rancor and get on with the business of representing the people.”

The two winners will replace outgoing Councilmen Ted Howze and Kurt Spycher, who opted not to seek reelection in order to spend more time with their families. DeHart and White will be sworn into office on Dec. 14.


Race close down to fourth

When the Stanislaus County Registrar of Voters certified the results of the Nov. 2 election on Friday, just more than 500 votes separated first from fourth place in the Turlock City Council election.

Small business owner and former Turlock Unified School District Trustee Timm LaVelle finished third, 196 votes behind second place.

“Nobody likes to work hard and not achieve their goal, but it is what it is,” LaVelle said.

Despite the loss, LaVelle said he will continue his efforts to improve the community. He said he expects to volunteer with local community organizations, possibly the Salvation Army.

“I always want to be involved in their community,” LaVelle said. “I always want to be part of an organization.”

David “DJ” Fransen, owner of, claimed fourth with 4,034 votes. He said he was the first one to call and congratulate White and DeHart on their victories, and that, like LaVelle, he will continue to work to better Turlock.

“I’ve spoken to the two and I think we’re going to move forward, and it’s going to be a good time for Turlock,” Fransen said.

Agribusinessman Jeremy Rocha, participating in his third Turlock City Council election at age 23, finished fifth with 3,419 votes. Former Stanislaus County Deputy District Attorney Shawn Barlow, who died on Sept. 19 prior to the election, was sixth in voting, with 2,374 ballots cast in his favor. Businessman Pat Noda, who ran on a platform of improving public transit and addressing the city’s homeless problem, finished last with 1,974 votes.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.