Incumbents Claim Across-The-Board Victory In Eleven San Bernardino County Municipal Races

In the cities of Chino Hills, Ontario, Fontana, Rialto, Barstow, Redlands, Yucaipa, Apple Valley and Twentynine Palms, all of the incumbents running in the various mayoral and city council races emerged victorious in Tuesday’s voting. In Montclair, where two incumbent council members vied against each other for mayor, the loser will yet remain in her position on the city council.
In Chino Hills, Mayor Ray Marquez was unopposed is his electoral effort, which required that he stand for election within the city’s newly created District 1. As of today, with all six of District 1’s precincts having reported and a significant number of the mail-in ballots having arrived and been counted, Marquez claimed 2,678 votes against no opponents. In District 2, incumbent Councilman Peter Rogers pulled in all 2,805 votes cast at the districts six polling stations and from the arriving mail-in ballots, as he too had no opposition.
In District 4, appointed incumbent Brian Johsz claimed electoral victory with 1,257 votes, or 47.96 percent, besting Gabriel DeLuna with 566 votes, or 21.59 percent, former councilwoman Rossana Mitchell-Arrieta with 701 votes or 26.75 percent and Ronald Eaton, who garnered 97 votes or 3.7 percent.
In Montclair, two council incumbents, Carolyn Raft and John Dutrey, both of whom were last elected two years ago and who thus have two years remaining on their council terms, competed against one another to determine who will serve as mayor over the next four years. The mayoral post is now held by Ginger Eaton, the widow of the late mayor, Paul Eaton, who passed away earlier this year.
Dutrey gathered 2,312 votes, or 49.4 percent to Raft’s 1,734 votes or 37.05 percent. They ran well ahead of third place finisher Sousan Elias, with 357 votes or 7.63 percent and Kelly Thomas Smith, who polled 277 votes or 5.92 percent.
In the Montclair City Council race, incumbent councilwoman Trisha Martinez, with 2,336 votes or 32.9 percent, and incumbent councilman Bill Ruh, with 1,711 votes or 24.1 percent, were reelected, outdistancing challengers Benjamin Lopez, who received 1,388 votes or 19.55 percent, Juliet Orozco with 772 votes or 10.87 percent, Omar Zamarripa and the 649 votes or 9.14 percent he claimed and Remoushell Henry, who polled 244 voter endorsements or 3.44 percent. Montclair will need to fill the soon-to-be vacant council post now held by Dutrey after he accedes to the mayoral position.
In Ontario, where all 91 precincts have reported, the well-financed trio of Mayor Paul Leon and councilmen Alan Wapner and Jim Bowman were handily reelected.
Leon’s 11,999 votes or 55.93 percent swamped former Councilman/city attorney Sam Crowe, who placed second with 5,469 votes or 25.49 percent, Rudy Favila, who claimed 2788 votes or 13 percent and Richard Galvez, who managed to bring in 1,198 votes or 5.58 percent. Wapner, a former Ontario Police Department detective, with 11,298 votes or 36.34 percent, and Bowman, one of Ontario’s previous fire chiefs who captured the endorsement of 8,329 city residents or 26.76 percent, trounced challengers Norberto Corona, who claimed 5,936 votes or 19.09 percent, Josef Nikyar, who pulled down 2,961 votes or 9.52 percent and Paul Mim Mack, who received 2,575 votes or 8.28 percent.
In the Fontana mayoral contest, conducted at-large among the entirety of the city’s 84 precincts, incumbent Mayor Acquanetta Warren clobbered the field by capturing 15,233 votes or 58.3 percent to the 4,659 votes or 17.83 percent of her closest challenger, incumbent councilman Jesse Sandoval. Other also-rans in the race were Lorena Corona, with 3,247 votes or 12.43 percent; Carlos Sandoval, who was put up as a candidate by Warren as a ploy by Warren to divert votes from Councilman Sandoval and who managed to bring in 1,291 votes or 4.94 percent; and Hafsa Sharafat, who captured 997 votes or 3.82 percent.
In Fontana’s first-ever by-district council election, incumbent Councilman John Roberts prevailed in District 4, which features 21 precincts, by hauling in 2,422 votes or 42.1 percent to Patricia Gonzlez’s 2,24 votes, or 38.66 percent and Glenda Barillas’s 1,107 votes, or 19.24 percent. In District 1, which entails 26 voting precincts, no incumbents competed. Phil Cothran, one of Warren’s political allies, came out on top with 4,691 votes or 52.79 percent, while Shannon O’Brien polled 1,946 votes or 21.9 percent, Jocelyn Aguirre collected 1,315 votes or 14.8 percent and Lourdes Goñi received 934 votes or 10.51 percent.
In neighboring Rialto, which boasts 56 precincts citywide, incumbent councilmen Joe Baca, Jr. and Ed Scott were reelected, with 7,454 votes or 38.23 percent and 5,092 votes or 26.12 percent, respectively, placing them ahead of Karla Perez’s 3,617 votes or 18.55 percent and Ana Gonzalez’s 3,333 or 17.1 percent showing.
In Barstow, incumbents Tim Silva and Merrill Gracey managed to stay in office by vying in separated contests in the city’s first by-district city council elections in its 71-year history as an incorporated municipality.
Competing in newly-drawn District 1, which consists of nine precincts, Councilman Tim Silva overcame a spirited challenge by David Mendez, who had the benefit of the Barstow Firefighters Association’s endorsement. Silva received 391 votes or 53.05 percent to Mendez’s 346 votes, or 46.95 percent.
In the Barstow District 2 race, where voters cast ballots at 18 polling places, Merrill Gracey eked out a 12-vote victory over James Noble by a margin of 268 votes or 32.56 percent to 256 votes or 31.11 percent. Brianna Martinez captured third with 186 votes or 22.6 percent and Bennie Fedrick claimed 113 votes or 13.73 percent.
Redlands returned to holding by-district elections this year after experimenting with the concept in the 1990s and then resuming at-large elections. In the city’s newly-drawn District 1, no incumbents competed on Tuesday in the voting conducted at 16 precincts. Denise Davis, who occupied the first position on the ballot, claimed victory with 1,376 votes or 51.04 percent. Trailing her were Priya Vedual, with 452 votes or 16.77 percent; Andy Hoder, who received 432 votes or 16.02 percent; Renea Wickman, who gathered 323 votes or 11.98 percent; and Eric Whedbee, who was supported by 113 of his would-be constituents or 4.19 percent.
In Redlands District 3, incumbent Paul Barich managed to stay in office in the face of a challenge by three political outsiders. With 4,516 residents casting votes at the district’s 28 polling stations or voting by mail, Barich captured 2,024 votes or 44.82 percent, significantly outdistancing Joe Richardson, who captured second place with 1,303 votes or 28.85 percent, followed by Mike Saifie with 720 votes or 15.94 percent, and Enriquue Estrada, with 469 votes or 10.39 percent.
In Redlands District 5, which is comprised of 11 precincts, Paul Foster, who is currently the city’s designated mayor selected to that position by his council colleagues, blasted past his lone challenger, Ryan Johnson, 2,981 votes or 63.22 percent to 1,734 votes or 36.79 percent.
Additionally, the Redlands City Council last year appointed Toni Momberger to serve within its ranks after the untimely death of Councilwoman Pat Gilbreath, who had most recently been reelected in 2016 to an at-large term. The council scheduled a special election to correspond with Tuesday’s polling to allow the electorate to weigh in on whether Momberger should remain in that billet. Michael Teneyck and Brian Seghers cast their hat in the ring. The voters by a solid margin elected to keep Momberger in place, giving her 9,405 endorsements or 56.87 percent approval to 4,484 votes or 27.11 percent for Seghers and 2,650 votes or 16.02 percent in favor of Teneyck.
In Yucaipa, incumbent Greg Bogh, who currently is serving as that city’s appointed mayor, resides within the city’s District 2. No challengers to Bogh emerged, and the council in August simply appointed him to the position for the next four years.
The other incumbent scheduled to stand for reelection this year, David Avila, drew a single opponent, Wyatt Patrick Padgett. Because of an error by the city clerk, both Avila and Padgett were credited with being incumbents, a status which did not apply to Padgett. Despite that error, Avila gained reelection when District 1’s voters went to the polls at the district’s 14 precincts or mailed in their ballots. Avila, though, prevailed by a relatively narrow margin of 1,460 votes or 53.21 percent to 1,284 votes or 46.79 percent.
In Apple Valley, the four-year terms of three incumbents, Barb Stanton, Scott Nassif and Curt Emick, elapse this year. Stanton opted out of running. Ten challengers joined Nassif and Emick in the contest.
Nassif outpolled everyone voting in the at-large affair at the town’s 48 precincts, getting 6,597 votes or 16.16 percent. Emick finished second, gathering 5,523 votes or 13.53 percent. The other victor was Kari Leon, who came in third with 4,971 votes or 12.18 percent. In descending order thereafter were Roger LaPlante with 3,497 votes or 8.57 percent; one-time Victorville City Councilwoman Angela Valles, who snagged 3,429 votes or 8.4 percent; Amanda Hernandez, with 3,365 votes or 8.24 percent; Richard Bunck, whose 3,347 votes translated to 8.2 percent; Michael Karen, who took in 2,740 votes or 6.71 percent; Bryen Wright, who landed 2,447 votes or an even 6 percent; Matthew Pautz, who captured 1,955 votes or 4.79 percent, Janate Valenzuela, supported by 1,547 voters or 3.79 percent; and Xavier Ariza, who received 1,395 votes or 3.42 percent.
In Twentynine Palms, which this year transitioned to district elections, incumbent Daniel Mintz faced no opposition in District 3, and 350 voters went to the five polling places in their district or asserted suffrage by mail to support him. At District 4’s nine precincts, incumbent Councilman John Cole survived a challenge by Karmolette O’Gilvie, 273 votes or 52 percent to 252 votes or 48 percent. In District 5, former Councilwoman Cora Heiser sought to oust the current incumbent, McArthur Wright. That effort fell short, as Wright claimed 203 votes or 55.62 percent to Heiser’s 162 votes or 44.38 percent.
No election was held in the City of Big Bear Lake, where no one came forward to challenge incumbents Rick Herrick in newly-formed District 2, Randy Putz in the just-created District 3 and Dave Caretto in District 4. The city council on August 20 by acclamation appointed the trio to those posts for the next four years and thereby forewent a municipal election this year.
In June, the City of Loma Linda held its election in correspondence to the California Primary. Incumbents Phillip Dupper and Ron Dailey turned back challenges by Gabriel Uribe and David Sanner in that race.

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