November 8 Election Makes For Four New Solons On Needles Seven Member Council

Out on San Bernardino County’s East Coast, in a clean sweep of historic proportion, Needles voters in one fell swoop made a majority changeover in four of their seven municipal leaders as a result of this month’s election.
On November 8, according to the latest release by the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters, Janet Jernigan polled 408 votes in the race for mayor, giving her 55.66 percent of the 733 total votes cast, putting her well ahead of her competitors, James M. Jones, with 278 votes or 37.93 percent, and Sandra Queen Noble, who had 47 votes for 6.41 percent.
Jernigan will replace Jeff Williams, a longtime member of the city council and mayor.
Also elected this year, though confirmed may be the more proper term given that all three were unopposed, were Jamie McCorkle, JoAnne Pogue and Henry Longbrake. Needles voters were free to vote for up to three candidates. As of the vote tallying so far completed, there were 733 voters participating in the Needles mayoral election, an indication that at least 2,199 votes could have been cast in the city council election. In fact, there were only 1,090 votes cast in the council election that have been so far counted. Thus, it can be said, some of the city’s voters withheld their votes from certain council candidates. McCorkle received the most votes, 485 or 44.5 percent of the total council vote. Pogue garnered 340 votes for 31.19 percent. Longrake had 265 votes or 24.31 percent.
McCorkle, Pogue and Longbrake will replace incumbent council members Edward Paget, Wade Evans and Zachary Longacre.
Paget, like Williams, has been a longserving council and mayoral stalwart in Needles.
Despite being San Bernardino County’s smallest city population-wise with 4,949 residents, the 31.28-square mile city on west bank of the Colorado River across from Arizona is tied with San Bernardino, the county’s largest city, for having the county’s most numerous city council, at seven members. At present, the City of Colton also has seven council members, but next month that number will reduce to five. It is rare for a city council to undergo a change of a majority of its members, although it does from time to time happen. In 2014 and again in 2018, Adelanto saw three of its five council members taken out of office and replaced as a consequence of those years’ election cycles. Also in 2018, the Upland City Council lost three of its members with that November’s election.
In 2020, Barstow saw three new officeholders elected to its five-member council. In both the 2018 and 2020 San Bernardino Municipal Races, there were three council member changeovers, but those did not constitute a majority on that seven-member panel.
To the best of the Sentinel’s institutional memory, the four-person changeout that is to take place next month with the swearing in of Jernigan, McCorkle, Pogue and Longbrake will represent the most comprehensive change in municipal governance that has yet to take place in one election cycle in the county.
As a consequence of the change, there will be, to the extent there can now be said to be a ruling coalition on the Needles City Council, a change in that coalition.

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