Throughout most of San Bernardino County in the November 2016 election, incumbents in municipal, county state and federal races fared well, as is traditionally the case.
All of San Bernardino County’s incumbent federal office holders, Paul Cook in the 8th Congressional District, Judy Chu in the 27th Congressional District, Pete Aguilar in the 31st Congressional District, Norma Torres in the 35th Congressional District and Ed Royce in the 39th Congressional District were victorious.
In San Bernardino County, Judy Chu, a Democrat, ran behind her competitor, Jack Orswell, garnering 41.85 percent or 5,204 of the 12,435 votes cast within the portion of the 27th District located within San Bernardino County in comparison to the 58.15 percent, or 7,231 votes cast for the Republican. Nevertheless, Chu overwhelmed Orswell in that portion of the district outside San Bernardino County to garner reelection.
In the races for State offices in San Bernardino County featuring incumbents, in only one of those, that featuring a rare matchup between Democrats Cheryl Brown and Eloise Gomez Reyes, did the incumbent lose. Brown, a member of the Assembly in the 47th District since 2012, was turned out of office by Reyes. Reyes, with 39,092 votes or 53.3 percent, outdistanced Brown, who managed to bring in 34,258 votes or 46.7 percent.
In the State Senate, Republican Scott Wilk in the 21st District beat Johnathan Ervin 54.83 percent to 45.17 percent overall and 57.96 to 42.04 percent in San Bernardino County. Mike Morrell, the incumbent State Senator in the 23rd District beat Democratic challenger Ronald O’Donnell 57.11 percent to 42.89 percent.
In State Senate District 25, in which no incumbents were running, Mike Antonovich outpolled Democrat Anthony Portantino 55.84 percent to 44.16 percent in San Bernardino County, but was unable to capture the seat, as districtwide, in which Portantino gathered 139,116 votes, or about 59 percent to Michael Antonovich’s 97,878 votes, or roughly 41 percent.
In State Senate District 29, Republican incumbent Ling Ling Chang vanquished Democratic challenger Josh Newman 53.89 percent to 46.11 percent in San Bernardino County and 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent overall.
In Assembly District 33, incumbent Republican Jay Obernolte handily turned back Republican-turned-Democrat Scott Markovich 61.54 percent to 38.46 percent.
Tom Lackey, the incumbent Republican in the 36th Assembly District cruised to an easy victory overall by a 56.06 to 43.94 percentage margin over Democrat Steve Fox, and trounced Fox 71.14 percent to 28.86 percent in San Bernardino County.
In Assembly District 40, Republican incumbent Marc Steinorth turned back a spirited challenge by Democrat Abigail Medina, 52.28 percent to 47.72 percent, a reversal of the surprising showing of Medina in the non-binding June Primary balloting when she eked out a razor thin victory over Steinorth.
In State Assembly District 41, Democrat Chris Holden hung onto his elected post by a more-than-comfortable 60.41 percent to 39.59 percent in voting overall, despite losing to Republican Casey Higgins 56.77 percent to 43.23 percent in San Bernardino County.
In Assembly District 42, Republican incumbent Chad Mayes turned back a challenge by Democrate Greg Rodriguez 67.13 percent to 32.87 percent in San Bernardino County and 58.3 to 41.7 percent overall.
In the 52nd Assembly District incumbent Democrat Freddie Rodriguez outran fellow Democrat Paul Vincent Avila, 43.22 percent to 56.78 percent in San Bernardino County and 64.4 percent to 35.6 percent overall.
In Assembly District 55, Republican Phillip Chen beat Democrat Gregg Fritchle by similar margins in San Bernardino County, 56.47 percent to 43.53 percent, and overall, a margin of 57.7 percent to 42.3 percent.
In the race for First District San Bernardino County supervisor, the incumbent, Robert Lovingood, withstood a spirited challenge by former Victorville City Councilwoman Angela Valles, 44,780 votes, or 52.84 percent, to 39,960 votes, or 47.16 percent.
Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales faced no opposition this year and Third District Supervisor James Ramos gained reelection in the June Primary when he bested Donna Munoz.
In the Needles City Council race, one incumbent, Tom Darcy, was voted out of office and another, Shaw Gudmundson, retained his post in a race for three seats which featured nine candidates. Gudmundson garnered 15.04 percent and the two victorious newcomers, Clayton Hazlewood and Tona Belt, polled 14.01 percent and 17.1 percent, respectively.
In Twentynine Palms the only incumbent running, Joel Klink, was reelected with 27.32 percent of the vote and newcomer Steven Bilderain won with 32.54 percent.
In Yucca Valley, the only incumbent running, Robert Lombardo, gained reelection with 28.82 percent of the vote. Planning commissioner Jeff Drozd was elected to the council with 31.57 percent of the vote in the four person race.
In the City of Yucaipa, holding its first election in which council members are selected by district, incumbent Bobby Duncan beat Clifford Gericke in the Third District 68.28 percent to 31.72 percent. Incumbent Denise Hoyt beat Jordan Mack in the Fourth District 67.79 percent to 32.21 percent. Longtime incumbent Dick Ridell beat Judge W. Robert Fawke in the Fifth District 68.95 percent to 31.05 percent.
In Redlands, incumbent council members Pat Gilbreath and John James won, with Gilbreath getting an easy victory at 18.26 percent in the nine candidate race and James winning by a razor-thin margin with 12.24 percent.
In Highland, where the council is moving over to a council ward system, Jesse Chaves won with 39.12 percent of the vote in a three man race featuring no incumbents in District 1. In District 2, where no incumbent was running either, Anaeli Solano outdistanced Tony Cifuentes 58.63 percent to 41.37 percent. In District 4, incumbent John Timmer won with 45.57 percent over three challengers, Russell Rutland, Frannk Adomitis and Christy Marin. In District 5, incumbent Larry McCallon won with 58.21 percent of the vote over Jerry Martin, who pulled in 41.79 percent.
In the race for Apple Valley Town Council, incumbents Art Bishop, with 34.63 percent and Larry Cusack, with 25.36 percent, beat Tom Piper, at 3.55 percent, Bryen Wright at 10.48 percent, Jiles Smith with 9.11 percent, Richard Bunck at 10.94 percent and Salvatore Ortiz-Lopez, who polled 5.93 percent.
One of the few incumbents countywide who failed to garner reelection was Hesperia’s councilman Eric Schmidt, who captured 16.05 percent of the vote, which fell short of the 17.37 percent polled by Rebekah Swanson and Larry Bird’s 28.95 percent. Another incumbent whose term is up, Mike Leonard did not run. James Blocker, Anthony Rhoades, Bill Jensen, Bruce Krueger and Bob Stine finished behind Schmidt.
In the Victorville City Council race, incumbents Jim Cox, with 13.75 percent, and Gloria Garcia, with 16.2 percent, perpetuated their time in office another four years. Another incumbent, Ryan McEachron, with 12.82 percent of the vote, was dispaced by Lionel Dew, with his 13.75 percent showing. Other also-rans in victorville were Will Berghoff, Blanca Gomez, Frank Kelly, Josh Martin, Sergio Reyes, and Jerry Laws.
In Adelanto, incumbents Ed Camargo and Jermaine Wright were able to capture enough votes, 30.2 percent and 32.8 percent respectively, to stay in office, outpolling Joy Jeannette, at 25.01 percent and Tareef Salah, with 11.99 percent.
In Colton Third District Councilman Frank Navarro beat a challenge by former mayor Kelly Chastain, 61.95 percent to 38.05 percent. In District 5, with no incumbents running, Jack Woods won election with 48.13 percent in a four person race. In District 6, incumbent Isaac Suchil beat former mayor Sarah Zamora 59.75 percent to 40.25 pecent.
In Rialto, where no incumbents ran for council, Andy Carrizales with 18.74 percent and Rafael Trujillo, with 19.46 percent, won in a nine-way race. Incumbent mayor Deborah Robertson beat sitting councilman Edward Palmer 59.67 percent to 40.33 percent.
In Fontana, where ten candidates vied for two open seats, incumbent councilwoman Lydia Salazar-Wibert was one of the few incumbents in the county to lose, when her 17.35 percent of the vote proved insufficent of hold off Jesse Armendarez, who captured 18.42 percent. Another incumbent, Jesse Sandoval, stayed in place with 26.29 percent.
Rancho Cucamonga City Council incumbents Lynne Kennedy and Sam Spagnolo held onto their positions with 25.8 percent and 23.47 percent of the vote, respectively, in a race that featured five challengers, Clarance Olson, Chris Salabaj, Amira Abdelmageed, Curtis Pitts and Erick Jimenez.
In Ontario, incumbent Paul Vincent Avila was turned out of office by finishing fifth among ten candidates – at 11.35 percent – for two seats that were up for election. The other incumbent on the council, Debra Porada, garnered reelection by capturing 17.52 percent of the vote. Also elected was Ruben Valencia, with 18.99 percent of the vote. Valencia ran a concerted campaign against councilman Alan Wapner two years ago but came up short at that time. Also outdistancing Avila this year were Gus Skropos, a former judge, former deputy district attorney and former mayor, at 11.59 percent; and Sam Crowe, a former councilman and former city attorney, at 13.72 percent. Finishing behind Avila, who also ran unsuccessfully for assemblyman on Tuesday, were Richard Roybal Jr., Elvia Rivas, Josie Estrada, Richard Galvez and Aaron Matthiesen.
In Upland, incumbent city councilman Glenn Bozar risked his current position on the council by choosing to run for mayor rather than for reelection. His gamble failed, as his council colleague Debbie Stone, who was reelected to the council in 2014 and did not have to risk losing her council berth to run for mayor, beat him convincingly, 56.82 percent to 43.18 percent. In the Upland race for the council seat Bozar is giving up, Janice Elliott has moved ahead of Sid Robinson as of today, 6,077 votes or 27.4 percent to 6,070 votes or 27.37 percent. But there are still some provisional votes and damaged ballots that yet need to be counted, and the tallying of those next week could change the outcome. In the initial counts, Robinson was ahead.
In Montclair, longtime incumbents Carolyn Raft and Javier “John” Dutrey cruised to easy reelection, with 26.26 percent and 24.94 percent of the vote, respectively, in a field of five that included Juliet Orozco, Ida Allen and Benjamin Lopez.
In Chino, incumbent councilwoman Eunice Ulloa was victorious in her race to succeed mayor Dennis Yates, who chose not to seek reelection. Ulloa beat Brandon Villalpando 68.38 percent to 31.62 percent. Incumbent councilman Glenn Duncan, running for reelection in the city’s first election featuring council wards, was unopposed in District 1. Likewise, incumbent Tom Haughey was unopposed in District 4.
In Chino Hills, council incumbents Cynthia Moran, with 32.08 percent, and Art Bennett, with 21.96 percent, were reelected. Bennett’s margin over third place finisher Rossana Mitchell-Arrieta was a narrow one, as she polled 20.3 percent. Also in the mix were James Gallagher, at 14.36 percent and Paul Molinaro, with 11.3 percent.