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Monez, Franco lead City Council races
Turlock shows support for sales tax measure
Turlock voter
Rochelle Sullivan drops off her ballot at an official drop box at Turlock City Hall on Tuesday. For the first time ever, all registered voters in Stanislaus County received their ballots in the mail but had the opportunity to drop them off rather than mail them back (KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal).

Early election results point to a historic first female majority on the Turlock City Council and support for a city sales tax measure.

Tuesday night election results showed Rebecka Monez in the District 2 Turlock City Council race and Pam Franco in the District 4 race both leading their opponents.

As of 9:10 p.m. Tuesday with 100% of the precincts counted in District 2, Monez had 1,109 votes (49.87%) followed by incumbent Council member Gil Esquer with 637 (28.64%) and Ruben Wegner at 478 votes (21.49%).

Monez, who recently had to verify her legal address after claims that she didn’t actually live in District 2, said she is “grateful” to the voters of Turlock for their support.

Esquer acknowledged Monez’s lead.

“This chair does not define who I am; we need to define the chair we represent. The people ultimately make their choice and we live with that choice. I want to thank the people who had faith in me for all their support. Stay involved, stay informed and keep moving forward,” he said.

Wegner said he was glad for the “support from our neighbors in District 2.”

In the District 4 race, Franco was leading with 2,424 votes (59.27%) to Robert Puffer’s 1,666 (40.73%).

“I am looking forward to working together to bring Turlock back to the best city in the Valley again. I’m committed to our community. Time to get to work,” Franco said.

Puffer said he was very proud of taking part in the race.

“I wish my opponent, if in fact she does win, the best of luck,” he said.

If both Monez and Franco keep their leads through the official ballot count it will be the first time that four women will serve at one time on the Turlock City Council. If elected, they will join District 1 Council member Nicole Larson and Mayor Amy Bublak, Turlock’s first female mayor, at the dais.

“Gender is irrelevant,” said Bublak. “I’m pleased that the voters of Turlock have selected two outstanding community leaders to make the decisions necessary to keep Turlock the best city in the Valley.”

In the race for City of Turlock Treasurer, incumbent Diana Lewis was leading Tuesday night with 53.14% of the vote compared to challenger Matt Beekman’s 46.86%.

Turlock voters showed early support for Measure A, also known as the City of Turlock’s 911 Safety/Emergency Medical Response, Community Services Measure. This ¾ city sales tax is estimated to provide $11 million in revenue annually to fund City of Turlock services by increasing the sales tax from 7.875 percent to 8.625 percent.

As of 9:11 p.m., 9,806 Turlockers voted “yes” for Measure A and 6,972 voted “no.” If passed, Measure A would be the first city sales tax presented to Turlock voters to win their approval.

The revenue generated through the sales tax could be used to fund a variety of purposes, from public safety to road improvements to other community needs.

“I’m pretty optimistic,” said City Council member Larson, a proponent for Measure A. “It’s fair to say that Turlock was presented a choice of what level of service they want to receive.”

Measure A includes accountability requirements, annual independent financial audits, citizen oversight, and public disclosure of spending. By law, all Measure A funds must remain in Turlock and cannot be taken by the county or state government.

“It’s clear to voters that we elected officials did our best to live within our restraints, but once our budgetary issues started to hit public safety, hinder infrastructure and future growth, Measure A was an opportunity for voters to change that and invest in our community,” said Larson

Larson acknowledged that while the initial results were promising of getting the sales tax measure passed, that if it ultimately fails the Council will have to take up the challenge of finding solutions for the City’s budgetary issues.

To view updated election results, visit