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Soiseth set for mayoral seat
Challenger Jacob, incumbent DeHart take city council race; Road tax fails
Gary Soiseth and former Turlock Mayor Curt Andre view election result updates with campaign manager Josh Weimer on Tuesday evening at Latif's. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal


* As of 11: 49 p.m. Tuesday with 98% of precincts counted

City of Turlock, Mayor

Gary Soiseth                      59.70%

Mike Brem                          39.91%


City of Turlock, City Council

*2 seats open

Matthew Jacob                 29.31%

Donald Babadalir              10.04%

Sergio A. Alvarado           9.55%

Bill DeHart, Jr.                    26.36%

Forrest J. White                                24.37%


City of Turlock Measure A — Creating a district election system for city council and mayor seats

Yes                         74.04%

No                          25.96%


City of Turlock Measure B — Establishing a half cent sales tax to be used for road repair and maintenance

Yes                         61.19%

No                          38.81%


United States Representative District 10

Jeff Denham                      56.68%

Michael Eggman               43.32%


State Senate District 8

Paulina Miranda               32.02%

Tom Berryhill                     67.98%


State Senate District 12

Shawn K. Bagley               41.18%

Anthony Cannella            58.82%


State Assembly District 12

Kristin Olsen                       66.52%

Harinder Grewal               33.48%


State Assembly District 21

Jack Mobley                       44.72%

Adam Gray                         55.28%




The face of Turlock is getting younger, or at least the faces of its leaders.

Preliminary election results released at 11:49 p.m. Tuesday night showed voters throwing their support behind some of the youngest candidates Turlock’s ever seen including mayor candidate Gary Soiseth, 30, and City Council candidate Matthew Jacob, 22. However, neither of the candidates seems to think age played an integral factor in their campaigns.

“It’s my opinion that age doesn’t matter and I think the voters agree as long as you focus on the issues and what is important,” said Soiseth.

Jacob echoed the same sentiment, noting that the voters with which he interfaced were more concerned about the issues than his age.

“There was a drive to hear new perspectives and I found that people wanted to know my ideas and what I brought to the table more than anything,” said Jacob.

When Soiseth announced his candidacy at Latif’s Restaurant in March little did he know eight months later he would be celebrating a successful campaign at the same location, but he wouldn’t necessarily call it a victory party.

 “This really isn’t a victory party, this is a thank you party to all of the volunteers who contributed their time and effort to this campaign,” said Soiseth, who had tallied 59.70 percent of the vote on Tuesday night compared to mayoral candidate Mike Brem's 39.91 percent.

While Soiseth attributes his success to early name recognition and interfacing with voters, he ramped up his campaign in the days leading up to Tuesday to draw in voters who had not already submitted absentee ballots. Soiseth’s team mobilized volunteers to stand on corners with signs and had a truck drive around town trailing an enormous campaign poster. 

 “My volunteers had so much energy, especially on Election Day, that in order to channel some of that we wanted to find a way to encourage people to vote and get our message out to Turlock,” said Soiseth.

Brem also met with thousands of voters during his campaign and made walking precincts a priority having knocked on over 2,800 doors. While Brem will likely not serve as Turlock’s next mayor, he will continue as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Turlock.

Competition was snug amongst the Turlock City Council candidates with Jacob joining incumbent Bill DeHart in lead. DeHart earned a mere 320 more votes than fellow incumbent Forrest White as of Tuesday night. 


White gathered with his camp at El Rosal to celebrate the culminating chapter of his campaign and noted that running as an incumbent “is totally different” than his first campaign four years ago.

“It seemed longer. A lot longer,” said White. “Everyone declared so much earlier this time around.”

White also noted that while running as an incumbent does give candidates some name recognition, it also charges them with ensuring that voter perceptions are accurate.

Two local measures were also on the ballot with Measure B, the half-cent citywide road tax, failing to receive the necessary two-thirds vote to pass. As of Tuesday night the measure received only 61.19 percent of support.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Jim Theis, chair of the Steering Committee for Citizens for YES on Measure B, noting that the future City Council may be charged with “choosing between public safety and potholes” if they have to resort to the general fund.

The measure would have generated an estimated $5.6 million per year for seven years for Turlock road repair and maintenance.

“This was a very well thought out, clear proposal,” said Theis. “It baffles me because I haven’t seen any other proposals in order to fix the problem.”

Measure A, which changes the local elections from at-large to district elections, was supported with over 74 percent of voters wanting to bring Turlock in compliance with the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. Citizens will now elect four council members by district elections and the mayor will continue to be chosen by all city voters.

Republican incumbent Kristin Olsen will continue to represent District 12 in the State Assembly as she becomes the Assembly Republican Leader.  As of Tuesday, she had a 33 percent lead over challenger Harinder Grewal of Turlock.

Republican State Senator and incumbent Anthony Cannella also triumphed over candidate Shawn Bagley with a 16 percent lead as of Tuesday night.

Congressman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) achieved another term as a United States Representative in District 10 with Michael Eggman trailing by more than 13 percent of votes.

Incumbent State Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) earned more than 35 percent more votes than challenger Paulina Miranda to retain California’s 8th District.