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November runoff elections decided

While there are still some ballots to be counted following last Tuesday’s primary election, voters now have a clear picture of who their choices will be come November.

There were 236,374 Stanislaus County residents eligible to vote in the primary, and as of Tuesday afternoon, 86,070 ballots had been counted. The 36.41 percent voter turnout was an improvement upon numbers from the county’s last midterm primary election in 2014, which saw only 26.43 percent of registered voters make it to the polls. Voter registration in Stanislaus County has also increased by 25,000 since then, and by over 17,000 since the 2016 General Election.

In the race for California State Senate District 8, of which Senator Tom Berryhill is terming out, Fresno County Supervisor Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) will face Paulina Miranda (D-Fresno) in the 2018 General Election. District 8 represents portions of Stanislaus County, including Turlock.

Miranda had previously challenged Berryhill for the seat in 2014 and prior to that, she ran in a special election for California State Senate District 16 but was defeated as well. Miranda has served as treasurer of the Fresno Democratic Committee in the past, and the Fresno businesswoman received 5,424 votes in the Primary — good enough for 20 percent of the vote and a spot on the November ballot.

Borgeas earned Berryhill’s endorsement through his work as both a Supervisor and educator and earned a landslide victory in the primary with 16,155 votes, or 61 percent of the total vote. It was his dedication to potential constituents’ needs that resonated with voters, he said.

“We have a track record of listening and acting on behalf of the constituents, and we had a strong message on issues that the district cares about,” Borgeas said, with some of those top issues including water, education, business and public safety.

Borgeas added that though he received a large majority of the vote in the primary, he doesn’t expect another simple victory in November.

“I don’t expect easy elections ever, only because you have to fight, demonstrate yourself and earn every vote, and that’s what this process is,” he said. “It’s like a job interview, and I still have to sell my credentials to the entire district. Whether it’s folks that lean to the right, center or left, I have to represent everyone.”

Also terming out of his State Senate seat is District 12 Senator Anthony Cannella, and following the primary, a Republican and a Democrat will be battling to replace him in November.

Currently on her final year and term in the State Assembly, Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) was the top vote-getter last Tuesday and ran for Senate District 12 on a platform that focused on clean drinking water, quality education, housing and healthcare. 

“This campaign has always been about a process. A process to give voice to neighborhood leaders.
Anna Caballero

Caballero received just over 48 percent of the vote, or 7,023 votes — about 3,500 votes over the total of opponent Rob Poythress (R-Madera), who came in second place.

“This campaign has always been about a process,” Caballero said in a statement. “A process to give voice to neighborhood leaders. We have spent thousands of hours talking to people in their homes, both individually and at house meetings. We have asked neighbors, students and workers to participate in discussions and surveys to talk about what they want for their families and their neighborhoods. We have held town hall meetings where hundreds of residents have expressed their dreams. This campaign is about helping people achieve those dreams.”

Madera County Supervisor Rob Poythress received 3,523 votes and, if elected in November, hopes to get rid of business regulations, ensure reliable water supplies and ensure citizens get “more” from their elected leaders.

“We made it!” Poythress posted on Facebook following his second-place finish, thanking his campaign contributors and volunteers. “We will now focus on the November General Election.”

Incumbent District 12 Assemblyman Heath Flora (R-Ripon) faced off against challenger Robert D. Chase (D-Modesto), with Flora receiving 35,107 votes for 62 percent of the vote. Chase received about 38 percent of the vote, or 21,189 votes.

All State positions require a November runoff election, however, so the candidates will see each other again on the November ballot.

Incumbent Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager nearly avoided a November runoff election, as county positions that receive over 50 percent of the primary vote earn the office outright. Fladager received 37,224 votes, which accounted for just over 48 percent of the total votes and will meet challenger Deputy District Attorney John R. Mayne in the fall, who came in second place with 17,792 votes, or 23 percent.

“Thank you to all who voted, contributed and have supported our campaign!” Fladager posted to Facebook following the primary results. “Those combined efforts nearly cleared the field for an outright win last night — but fell just short of the 50 percent plus one needed to win in June.”

Despite his boss’ large margin of victory in the primary, Mayne believes that people “who know the system best” will support him come November, pointing out that the DA’s office has a spotty record with human trafficking and homicides.

If elected in November, Mayne hopes to focus on violent crime in the area by forming a major crimes unit and help human trafficking efforts by zeroing in on those most likely to be victims.

“We will use money to improve public safety rather than the size of our televisions,” he said. “This county need not give up and accept the status quo. We can make positive changes for a better, safer community — the community we deserve.”

Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools candidates Scott Kuykendall and Shannon Sanford were the top vote-getters in the primary, beating out Waterford Unified School District Superintendent Don Davis for a place in the November General Election.

Kuykendall was hired by County Superintendent Tom Changnon, who did not seek reelection, seven years ago, and also earned the veteran educator’s endorsement. As Stanislaus County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent, Kuykendall oversees numerous schools within the county and is instrumental in the Come Back Kids program, which helps adults who are looking for a second chance to earn their high school diploma.

Kuykendall came in first place in the June race, earning a total of 32,630 votes, or almost 43 percent of the total vote count.

“We are in a strong position heading into the November General Election. I want to congratulate Shannon Sanford and Don Davis for positive, well-run campaigns,” Kuykendall said on Facebook. “As Shannon and I move forward, all the best to Don as I know he will continue to do great things in Waterford.”

Sanford, who serves as Gratton School District Superintendent, is currently the longest-serving school district superintendent in the county and is the one-woman show for GSD, overseeing departments like human resources and others at one of Stanislaus County’s smallest districts. Her top objective if elected would be to create a strong base for TK-8 students, she said during an April debate.

Sanford received 23,299 votes in the primary for just over 30 percent of the total vote, and thanked her supporters on Facebook after the results were in.

“Now the real fun begins…let’s go win this thing in November,” she said.

As county positions do not require a November runoff, Lt. Jeff Dirkse will be appointed leader of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s department thanks to a 3,400 vote lead over his opponent, Sgt. Juan Alanis.

“I want to thank the voters of Stanislaus County for their confidence and trust in electing me to be your next sheriff,” Dirkse said. “I have devoted my professional life to public service and am excited and humbled by the responsibility to lead an outstanding organization such as the sheriff’s department.


“There are many challenges confronting public safety organizations. One of the biggest we face is recruiting, hiring and training qualified local men and women,” Dirkse continued. “That will be a priority. I look forward to working with Sheriff Adam Christianson in the next six months to address that issue as well as many others.


“I also want to publicly recognize Sgt. Juan Alanis. I respect his service to our county and the commitment he also brings to public safety. I appreciated the opportunity to discuss and debate our ideas for the sheriff’s department. The nearly 700 men and women in the Sheriff’s Department share a common mission: To protect the people we serve. I look forward to helping us meet that mission.”


District 21 State Assemblyman Adam Gray ran in the primary unchallenged, so he will be appointed as representative once again.

Currently being processed before they are ultimately counted are approximately 3,000 provisional ballots, 650 Election Day plus 3 ballots, damaged, military, 7-day and miscellaneous ballots. California law requires certification of the primary election to be on or before July 5, which is 30 days following Election Day.


More information regarding the Statewide Direct Primary Election is available on the Stanislaus Registrar of Voters website at

Statewide results as of June 12


Gavin Newsom (DEM)    1,774,520             34%

John H. Cox (REP)             1,348,953             25.8%


Lt. Governor

Eleni Kounalakis (DEM)  1,171,132             23.8%

Ed Hernandez (DEM)      1,003,567             20.4%


Secretary of State

Alex Padilla (DEM)           2,592,529             52.2%

Mark P. Meuser (REP)    1,573,718             31.7%



Betty T. Yee (DEM)          3,011,367             61.6%

Konstantinos Roditis (REP) 1,684,425       34.5%



Fiona Ma (DEM)               2,152,229             43.9%

Greg Conlon (REP)           1,051,955             21.5%


Attorney General

Xavier Becerra (DEM)     2,245,262             45.2%

Steven C. Bailey (REP)    1,231,663             24.8%


Insurance Commissioner

Steve Poizner (NPP)        1,963,581             41.6%

Ricardo Lara (DEM)         1,891,748             40.1%


Superintendent of Public Instruction

Marshall Tuck                    1,695,166             37.5%

Tony K. Thurmond           1,591,685             35.2%


U.S. Senate

Dianne Feinstein (DEM) 2,220,191             44.3%

Kevin De Leon (DEM)      587,289                 11.7%