Outcomes In Virtually All Of This Year’s Municipal Races Are Determined

The balloting which took place at polling places around the county on Tuesday and the by-mail voting that had been ongoing for a month which concluded with it has already or is about to set the tenor of governance at the municipal level throughout the county for the next two to four years. With the exceptions of Loma Linda, which held its city council election in March, Apple Valley, where incumbents Larry Cusack and Art Bishop faced no challengers, and Highland, where no election was held as no one challenged incumbents Jesse Chavez, Penny Lilliburn and Larry McCallon this year, the county’s municipalities selected two, three or, in the case of Needles four, people to sit at the helm of the machinery of government in the capacity of council members or mayor. Their personalities, orientations, attitudes and approaches will have a bearing on how each of those communities is run within the public sector. With only a few possible exceptions, as of this afternoon, November 6, tallying of the ballots received had progressed to a point that the winners are apparent. Some further straggling mail-in votes are expected to arrive within the next week or so, but in most cases the number of those would not be sufficient to alter the outcomes of the races as already determined by the vote counts.
Nevertheless, the results of the races are not yet official; that declaration will come from the registrar of voters office, it is anticipated, at the end or this month or the first week in December.
In Adelanto, ten candidates vied for two positions on the council now held by Councilman Ed Camargo and Councilwoman Joy Jeannette. Carmargo did not seek reelection. Jeannette, who was first elected to the council in a special election to replace former Councilman Jermaine Wright after he was indicted in November 2017 and removed in January 2018, merited remaining on the council, voters decided. She received 1,345 votes or 15.64 percent. Elected to join her was Planning Commissioner Daniel Ramos, by virtue of the 1,779 votes he received. Also-rans included Diana Esmeralda, who received 1,249 votes or 14.52 percent to achieve third place, 96 votes behind Jeannette; Planning Commissioner JayShawn Johnson with 13.84 percent; Tonya Edwards, at 10.7 percent; Tracy Hernandez, the wife of Councilman Gerardo Hernandez, who received 8,53 percent; Jacquelin Diaz, who garnered 4.98 percent; Dominic Cisneros, who polled 4.06 percent; Edward Reyes, who had 2.93 percent; and Roy Isaiah III, endorsed by 3.1 percent of the city’s voters.
In Barstow, Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre, who was elected to the city council in 2006, reelected in 2010, then elected mayor in 2012 and reelected mayor in 2016, did not fare as well this year. The 1,606 votes or 32.77 percent she received was bested by Paul Anthony Courtney, who brought in 2,112 votes or 43.09 percent. The two others in the race were Nathaniel Pickett, Sr. and Virginia Brown, with 12.75 and 11.26 percent, respectively. A write-in candidate, Kevin Strickland received two votes, equal to 0.04 percent.
In Barstow’s District 3, Barbara Mae Rose, with 768 votes or 36.92 percent, outran Leonard Williams, who received 450 votes or 36.92 percent.
In District 4, incumbent Councilwoman Carmen Hernandez, who received 427 votes or 38.13 percent, outlasted her closest challenger, Marilyn Dyer Kruse, whose 412 votes or 36.79 percent fell a tad short. Martha O’Brien claimed 25 percent of the vote.
In the Barstow city clerk’s race, Andrea Flores beat Yolanda Baca Minor, 2,755 votes or 60.48 percent to 1,798 votes or 39.47 percent.
Michael J. Lewis was unopposed in his run for Barstow treasurer.
In Big Bear, Maureen Auer and Alan Lee faced off against one another in the first election held in the city’s District 1 after its 2018 switch from at-large elections. Lee, with 225 votes or 63.92 percent, bettered Auer’s 127 votes or 26.08 percent.
In District 5, incumbent Councilman Bob Jackowski, who was elected to the council in 2012 and reelected in 2016, was ousted by Bynette Mote after she polled 223 votes or 64.83 percent to his 121 votes or 35.17 percent.
Kenneth Koperski in Colton’s District 3 and Isaac Suchil in District 6 were unopposed. Incumbent Colton District 5 Councilman Jack Woods lost his bid for reelection, capturing 752 votes or 30.78 percent to challenger John Echevarria’s 1,691 votes or 69.22 percent. Colton City Clerk Carolyn Padilla and Treasurer Aurelio De La Torre were unopposed.
In Grand Terrace, incumbents Bill Hussey, with 2,084 votes or 24.7 percent, Jeff Allen with 1,306 votes or 15.48 percent and Sylvia Robles, with 1,859 votes or 22.03 percent were reelected, besting Planning Commissioner Jeffrey McConnell, Ken Stewart and Planning Commissioner Jeremy Briggs, who polled 14.42 percent, 13.54 percent and 9.75 percent, respectively.
In Montclair, the fourth time was a charm for Ben Lopez, as he at last captured a position on the council after finishing as the first runner-up in 2014, 2016 and 2018. He will replace Carolyn Raft, who did not seek reelection, and join Tenice Johnson, who was appointed to the council in 2019. Johnson captured 2,558 votes or 22.21 percent and Lopez polled 2,269 votes or 18.7 percent, followed by 15.92 percent for Oscar Miranda, 14.94 percent for Robert Pipersky, 14.28 percent for Juliet Orozco and 12.91 percent for Michael Tadrous.
Coryssa Martinez, who was appointed last year to temporarily replace her mother, Trish, on the Montclair City Council after her death, was unchallenged in the race to determine who would complete the last two years of her mother’s term.
In Needles, incumbent Mayor Jeff Williams handily defeated challenger Sandra Queen Noble, 955 votes or 77.77 percent to 250 votes or 20.36 percent. In the council race incumbent Tona Belt, with 660 votes or 20.91 percent, Kirsten Merritt with 620 votes or 19.64 percent and Ellen Campbell with 535 votes or 16.95 percent outdid Jamie McCorkle with 14.86 percent, Louise Evans with 14.1 percent and Ruth Musser-Lopez with 13.37 percent.
In Ontario, incumbents Debra Porada and Ruben Valencia, with 22,654 votes or 40.17 percent and 17,795 votes or 31.56 percent, respectively, turned back challengers Celina Lopez and Norberto Corona, who captured 19.83 and 8.39 percent of the vote. Incumbent City Clerk Sheila Mautz handily overcame Richard Galvez, 66.68 percent to 33.28 percent. Incumbent Treasurer James Milhiser with 72.9 percent defeated Michael Fillpot with 27.66 percent.
In Rancho Cucamonga’s District 1, incumbent at-large Councilmember Sam Spagnolo, polling 7,256 votes for 45.74 percent, outdistanced Jon Hamilton and his 5,474 votes or 34.5 percent, as well as Mark Rush, who received 19.68 percent of the vote.
In Rancho Cucamonga’s District 4, incumbent Lynne Kennedy, at 8,806 votes or 61.34 percent, overwhelmed challengers William James Smith, Jr at 2,881 votes or 20.07 percent, and Roger Wong, with 18.52 percent.
In Redlands, incumbent Councilman Eddie Tejeda was unchallenged in District 2. In District 4, Jenna Guzman-Lowery, having pulled down 1,509 votes or 36.09 percent, ran safely ahead of Lane Schneider with 1,120 votes or 26.79 percent, and Planning Commissioner Steven Frasher with 21.74 percent and Ivan Ramirez’s showing of 15.36 percent. City Clerk Jeanne Donaldson, with 74.34 percent of the vote, defeated Roy George, with 25.55 percent. Robert Dawes was unchallenged for treasurer.
In Twentynine Palms District 1, incumbent Steve Bilderain was unchallenged. In District 2, Jim Krushat, whose father was a member of the Twentynine Palms City Council three decades ago, challenged incumbent Joel Klink, but fell short, polling 368 votes or 47.24 percent to Klink’s 410 votes or 52.63 percent.
In Upland, incumbent Mayor Debbie Stone, who received 6,407 votes or 25.86 percent, was defeated by Councilman Bill Velto, who gathered 8,206 votes or 33.12 percent. Also-rans in the race were Lois Sicking Dieter, who captured 6,719 votes or 24.94 percent and former Planning Commissioner Alexander Novikov, who brought in 3,973 votes or 16.04 percent.
In the first-ever race in the city’s District 1, Shannan Maust clobbered David Hazelton, 6,049 votes or 83.86 percent to 1,158 or 16.05 percent.
In the special District 3 race being held this year to fill the vacancy created in May when former Upland Councilman Ricky Felix resigned, Carlos Garcia came out on top in a field of four by polling 1,882 votes or 44.53 percent to the 959 votes or 22.69 percent registered by Tauvaga Hoching, and the 22.69 percent performance by former Councilman Gino Filippi and 15.03 percent of the vote Lamonta Amos captured.
In the race for Upland city treasurer, Greg Bradley, a local entrepreneur, with 9,683 votes or 42.31 percent, outlasted former Upland City Manager and Finance Director Stephen Dunn, who claimed 7,316 votes or 31.97 percent, and Darwin Cruz, a credit analyst with Poppy Bank, who gathered 25.69 percent of the vote.
In Victorville, 21 candidates signed up to run for the three positions on the city council now held by Mayor Gloria Garcia, Councilman James Cox and Councilwoman Blanca Gomez. Cox, the city’s one-time city manager, did not seek reelection. Gomez, who was elected four years ago and garnered a good deal of publicity and controversy over her rocky relationship with her council colleagues, achieved reelection, while Garcia did not. Finishing first among all of the candidates was Elizabeth Becerra with 5,830 votes or 9.44 percent. Gomez came in second, copping 5,790 votes or 9.37 percent. Leslie Irving likewise captured a berth on the council with 4,763 votes or 7.71 percent. The first runner-up proved to be former City Councilman Ryan McEachron, who finished fourth with 4,470 votes or 7.23 percent. He was followed by Kareema Abdul with 6.97 percent; Lizet Angulo, with 6.37 percent; Ashiko Newman with 6.33 percent; Mayor Garcia with 5.89 percent; Kimberly Mesen, with 5.84 percent; Roger LaPlante with 5.18 percent; Lionel Dew with 5.17 percent; Adam Veduzco, Jr. with 4.03 percent; former Councilman Eric Negrete with 3.69 percent; Terrance Stone with 3.59 percent; Mike Stevens with 3.28 percent; Bob Bowen with 2.74 percent; Valentin Godina, with 1.84 percent; Planning Commissioner Paul Marsh, with 1.5 percent; Craig Timchak, with 1.38 percent; Frank Kelly, with 1 percent; Jerry Laws, with 0.83 percent; and Webster Thomas, at 0.61 percent.
In Yucaipa, incumbent City Councilman Bobby Duncan crushed his competition, gathering 1,757 votes or 63.87 percent to outdistance Lee Kaberlein, with 685 votes or 24.9 percent, and Clifford Gericke, who received 11.16 percent of the District 3 vote. In District 4, where incumbent Denise Holt did not seek reelection, Justin Beaver, who captured 2,068 votes or 61.88 percent, is to advance to the council instead of Stacey Chester, who picked up 1,271 votes or 38.03 percent. In District 5, incumbent Councilman Dick Riddell, one of the longest serving elected officials in San Bernardino County, appears to have been displaced by Jon Thorp. Thorp claimed 1,652 votes or 41.07 percent in the four-candidate race, while Riddell as of today’s tallying at the registrar of voters office had 1,575 votes or 39.16 percent. In third was Craig Suveg, with 476 votes or 11.83 percent. Patricia Elbeck had 7.86 percent of the vote.
In the Town of Yucca Valley, Jeff Drozd, who is currently serving as the mayor designated by his council colleagues, faced an unanticipated stiff challenge by David Simmons. Drozd appears to have eked out a victory, having bagged 611 votes or 52.18 percent to Simmons’ 559 votes or 47.74 percent. In the town’s District 4, longtime Councilman Robert Lombardo, who has also served in the past as the designated mayor, likewise was given a run for his money, but was able to prevail. Lombardo notched 506 votes or 36.32 percent to the 427 votes or 30.65 percent of his closest challenger, Jeff Brady. More distant was Travis Puglisi at 281 votes or 20.17 percent, and Myra Kennedy, who took home 12.78 percent of the vote.
-Mark Gutglueck

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