Steinorth Lone Incumbent In County Defeated In Tuesday’s Primary Election

In the 2016 Primary election held June 7, 283,720 or 36.18 percent of San Bernardino County’s 784,130 registered voters participated. Of those, 116,589, or 14.87 percent of the county’s voters overall, went to the polls. The remainder of those voting, 167,131 or 21.31 percent of voters overall, cast mail-in ballots.
With a single exception, incumbents fared well, with a few county officials scoring an outright victory by capturing a majority of votes cast in their races to avoid a November runoff. All of the other incumbents captured the most votes, but because of a multiplicity of candidates in their particular races or because of California’s electoral rules that qualify all second place finishers in state races for a runoff, they are thus consigned to a final electoral contest in November against the runner-up.
In overwhelmingly Republican Congressional District 8, 95,939 votes were cast, giving Republican incumbent Paul Cook 42.81 percent of the vote, or 41,072 voter endorsements, which was more than twice the 20,248 votes claimed by another Republican, Tim Donnelly, who came in second with 21.11 percent of the vote. In early tallying, Donnelly lagged behind Democrat Rita Ramirez-Dean, who slipped behind Donnelly to 21 percent of the vote as final straggling votes were counted. Ramirez-Dean captured 100 fewer votes that Donnelly, with 20,148. Roger La Plante and John Pinkerton polled 5.29 percent and 9.79 percent, respectively.
In Congressional District 31, the Democratic incumbent, Pete Aguilar, garnered a comfortable edge over the runner-up, Republican Paul Chabot, whom Aguilar defeated in 2014. This time, Aguilar brought down 41,049 votes, or 43.21 percent, to Chabot’s 22,487 votes or 23.67 percent. Spoiling an outright win for Aguilar was the presence in the race of former Democratic Congressman Joe Baca, who ran this time around as a Republican, getting 11,219 votes or 11.81 percent. Sean Flynn, a Republican, polled 10,567 votes or 11.12 percent. And Kaiser Ahmed, a Democrat, received 9,672 votes or 10.18 percent. There were 94,994 votes cast in the race.
In Congressional District 35, Democratic Incumbent Norma Torres trounced Tyler Fischella, the only other candidate, 39,478 San Bernardino County votes to 14,436. A major portion of Congressional District 35 lies outside San Bernardino County.
In State Senate District 23, Republican incumbent Mike Morrell cruised to a convincing victory by ringing up 52,521 votes or 55.12 percent to the 28,607 votes or 30.02 percent received by Ronald J. O’Donnell and 14,154 votes of Mark Westwood, representing 14.85 percent. Morrell and O’Connell will tilt against one another in November.
In State Assembly District 33, Republican incumbent Jay Obernolte soundly defeated Scott Markovich, a former Republican running as a Democrat, 37,701 votes to 23,618, a 61.48 percent to 38.52 percent victory. Obernolte and Markovich will have at each other once again in the fall.
The race in State Assembly District 40 proved the sole anomaly in the trend that favored incumbents in San Bernardino County. Marc Steinorth, the Republican one-term incumbent, lost in his scrape with Democratic challenger Abigail Medina by a razor-thin margin, with Medina capturing 32,972 votes, or 50.1 percent to Steinorth’s 32,835 or 49.9. In November, Medina will seek a replay of what happened Tuesday; Steinorth will try to reverse the outcome.
Chad Mayes, the Republican incumbent in State Assembly District 42, blasted his way past challengers Greg Rodriguez and Jeff Hewitt with 12,422 votes, equal to 60.06 percent. Rodriquez came in second with 6,390 or 30.89 percent and Hewitt claimed 1,871 votes or 9.05 percent. A Mayes/Rodriguez reprise will play out later this year.
In State Assembly District 47, Democrat Cheryl Brown fell less than six percent short of capturing a majority of the vote, netting 20,125 votes or 44.23 percent of the 45,501 votes cast in San Bernardino County. Another Democrat, Eloise Gomez Reyes, achieved the right to a run-off election in November by getting 15,706 votes or 34.64 percent. Aissa Chanel Sanchez received 9,616 votes or 21.13 percent.
Also of interest were two Assembly races in which fewer than half of the district’s voters live in San Bernardino County.
In Assembly District 52, incumbent Democrat Freddie Rodriguez comfortably outpolled Ontario City Councilman Paul Vincent Avila in San Bernardino County 17,880 votes or 61.92 percent to 10,998 votes or 38.08 percent. They will slug it out once more in November.
In heavily Republican State Assembly District 55, which covers portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, no incumbent was running. Two of those candidates have a claim to fame in San Bernardino County: Chino Hills Councilman Ray Marquez and West Covina Councilman Mike Spence, who is the chief of staff to Fourth District San Bernardino County Supervisor Kurt Hagman. Marquez polled second in the five-man race in San Bernardino County, but did not qualify for the November race when the results from all three counties were tallied. Marquez had 2,840 votes or 24.03 percent in San Bernardino County, which bettered Spence’s 2,166 or 18.33 percent. Both were soundly behind Gregg D. Fritchle, who received 4,343 or 36.7 percent in San Bernardino County. Fritchle, a Democrat, and Phillip Chen, a Republican, will face off in November.
In the race for First District San Bernardino County supervisor, incumbent Robert Lovingood picked up 18,281 votes or 37.78 percent, which was good for first place but not enough to foreclose a run-off in November. He will face second-place finisher, former Victorville Councilwoman Angela Valles, who received 12,370 votes or 25.57 percent. They were trailed by former Apple Valley Mayor Rick Roelle, Valles’ husband, who received 7,012 votes or 14.49 percent, and Hesperia City Council members Paul Russ and Bill Holland, who garnered 5,481 votes or 11.33 percent and 5,238 votes or 10.83 percent, respectively.
In the County’s Third Supervisorial District, incumbent James Ramos overwhelmed challenger Donna Munoz, 40,236 votes or 65.03 percent to 21,633 votes or 34.97 percent.
Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales had no competition and 30,666 voters endorsed her candidacy.

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