All incumbents won or placed first, $3 bridge toll increase passing, battles continue in D.A.’s, Superintendent’s races
By Allen Payton
Following is a recap of the election results in Contra Costa County from Tuesday night which saw a dismal 20.74% voter turnout in the county and only 21.9% statewide*. The County Elections office has 30 days to certify the elections and while their website shows 100% of the precincts have been counted, they will continue to count mail-in ballots turned in at the polling places on Tuesday and provide updates each Friday until completed.
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: According to County Clerk-Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla, “The Contra Costa Elections Division estimates that based upon Vote-By-Mail ballot returns from our polling places on Election Day, drop-off locations and those that have been received in the mail as of Wednesday afternoon, there are about 70,000 Vote-By-Mail ballots left to be prepared and counted for the June 5th Primary Election. We also estimate that we received about 10,000 Provisional Ballots at our polling places that will be processed. We will be posting another results update on Friday afternoon.”
The highest profile race in the county was for District Attorney. The top two candidates, appointed interim D.A. Diana Becton and Supervising Assistant D.A. Paul Graves, will face a run-off in November. At the current count she’s less than 450 votes shy of winning outright. Attorney Lawrence Strauss who placed third was eliminated.
The other battle in the county was the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Lynn Mackey placed first and will face second-place finisher Cheryl Hansen. Ron Leone was eliminated having placed third.
Auditor/Controller Bob Campbell was easily re-elected, besting his same opponent for a second time, Ayore Riaunda.
In the race for County Supervisor in District 1, John Gioia had no opponent and was reelected. In District 4 incumbent Karen Mitchoff easily beat her opponent, Harmesh Kumar by a three-to-one margin.
Sheriff David Livingston, County Clerk Joe Canciamilla, Treasurer/Tax Collector Russell Watts and Assessor Gus Kramer were all re-elected without opposition.
U.S. House of Representatives
In the Congressional races, in District 5 Democrat incumbent Mike Thompson will face in the November election independent Nils Palsson who edged out another independent, Anthony Mills by just 137 votes.
District 9 – Republican Marla Livengood who beat Mike Tsarnas, who dropped out of the race earlier, this year, for the right to race Democrat incumbent Jerry McNerney.
In District 11, Democrat incumbent Mark DeSaulnier will face Republican John Fitzgerald, who the state party denounced and from whom they withdrew their automatic endorsement, last week, for his anti-Semitic comments and views. They both handily beat Democrat Dennis Lytton and independent Chris Wood.
In District 15, Democrat incumbent Eric Swalwell will face Republican Rudy Peters, Jr. in the November election. Independent Brendan St. John placed a distant third in the primary.
In the Assembly races, District 11 Democrat incumbent Jim Frazier will face Republican Lisa Romero in November, after Democrat Diane Stewart placed a distant third.
In District 14 Democrat incumbent Tim Grayson will face fellow Democrat Aasim Yahya in November. But, Grayson easily bested his opponent with 83.02% of the vote to 15.72%.
In District 15, in a wide-open race incumbent Tony Thurmond opting to run for State Superintendent of Public Instruction instead of reelection, since Contra Costa’s own Tom Torlakson was termed out. Democrat Buffy Wicks beat out 10 fellow Democrats and one Republican for the top spot. She will face second-place finisher Democrat Jovanka Beckles in November.
In District 16, Republican incumbent Catharine Baker will again face her only opponent in the primary, Democrat Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, whom she beat 58.34% to 41.6%.
Bridge Toll Increase
Although a majority of Contra Costa voters opposed the $3 bridge toll increase Regional Measure 3, it appears to be passing with 54% of the vote. That’s because seven of the other eight Bay Area counties voted in favor of the measure which only required a majority vote to pass. According to a KTVU Channel 2 News report, Solano County was the only other county to vote against it, with only 30% voting yes. However, not all votes have been counted, yet. As of this morning only 30 to 50 percent of the ballots from precincts in San Francisco, Santa Clara and Solano counties had been counted.
In addition, Clayton resident Mark Meuser, a Constitution and election law attorney, placed second in the California Secretary of State’s race, and will face the incumbent Alex Padilla in the November election. (NOTE: This writer serves as his campaign manager).
* The statewide voter turnout figure is skewed since 11 counties, including Los Angeles and San Diego counties have over 100% voter registration due to people on the rolls who shouldn’t be, such as those who have died, moved out of state, are registered more than once or are foreign residents.
For more details on the election results in Contra Costa County click here.