17 SBC City Council Incumbents Out With With 2022 Election Cycle

The 2022 election cycle brought about a fair number of changes in the local political landscape in San Bernardino County.
Generally, an advantage accrues to incumbents in political races, such that most officeholders who seek to remain in office do so. In most cases, the name recognition and positive name identification an incumbent has, combined with the fundraising capability that naturally falls to someone who holds a decision-making position that will impact local businesses gives a member of the political establishment a leg up over challengers. Such donations infuse a candidate’s electioneering war chest, and if a candidate’s team spends that money judiciously and skillfully on polling, billboards, campaign signs, handbills, mailers, radio and television spots and newspaper advertising, he or she can be hard to beat by a challenger who does not have such means at his or her disposal.At the county level this year, Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford is being turned out of office because she has now exhausted the three-term limitation on members of the board of supervisors and she thus could not run for reelection. Former Fontana City Councilman Jesse Armendarez was elected to replace her in a hard-fought contest against Cucamonga Valley Water District Board Member Luis Cetina.
Also at the county level, the late Bob Dutton, who was first elected county assessor in 2014, reelected without opposition in 2018 and reelected without opposition in the June California Primary, has been replaced by Christopher Wilhite. The board of supervisors deprived the county’s residents of electing the county assessor, who also serves as the county clerk and county recorder, this year after Dutton died on July 23, 46 days after his election, when it did not act with alacrity to recruit candidates to compete for the post on the November 8 ballot and have those hopefuls qualify their candidacies in time for the August 12 deadline for submission of the candidate list for the printing of the ballots. Instead, the board of supervisors, in a move that some county residents believe skirted the California Elections Code and the California Constitution, solicited individuals interested in serving as supervisor to apply for the position and earlier this month appointed one of those, Wilhite, to serve as assessor from January 3, 2023 until January 3, 2025.
In Barstow, Councilman Tim Silva, who has been on the city council for 16 years, did not seek reelection. He will be replaced by former Councilwoman Carmen Hernandez, who outlasted Martha O’Brien in the November election to represent the city’s Council District 1.
In Needles, Mayor Jeff Williams and Councilmen Ed Paget, Wade Evans and Zachery Longacre are being replaced by, respectively, Janet Jernigan, who defeated Sandra Noble and James Jones in the November 8 mayoral race; and Joanne Pogue, Jamie McCorkle and Henry Longbrake, who ran unopposed for city council.
In Adelanto, Stevevonna Evans, who was elected to the city council in her maiden effort in 2018, reached for the brass ring by running for mayor this year. She failed in her effort to unseat incumbent Gabriel Reyes. She must therefore leave the council. Evans is being replaced by Amanda Uptergrove.
In Victorville, Rita Ramirez Dean was removed from office in March 2021 on the grounds that she had not maintained residency status in the city. In November, Robert Harriman defeated Lizet Angulo in the City Council District 4 race to, essentially, fill what had been Ramirez Dean’s position on the council.
In Hesperia, Bill Holland, who had been on the city council since 2010, found himself maneuvered out of his position on the council when the redrafting of the city’s district lines placed his residence outside of District 2, the position he was elected to in 2018 during that city’s first by-district election. When the August 12 filing deadline for council candidacy elapsed without an applicant, the city invited District 2 residents to apply for the post. Seven did and the council selected businesswoman Allison Lee to serve in the District 2 post for the next four years.
In Big Bear Lake, council contests in districts 2, 3 and 4 were held this year. Incumbents Rick Herrick, Rnadall Putz and Perri Melnick were all reelected. The city’s residents also qualified a recall election against District 1 Councilman Alan Lee. Lee’s recall was approved by the voters, who selected Kendi Segovia to replace him.
In Twentynine Palms, incumbent District 4 Councilwoman Karmolette O’Gilvie, who was serving as appointed mayor, was outdistanced in the November 8 election by Octavious Scott. Scott’s victory was a narrow one. He pulled down 311 votes or 50.65 percent to O’Gilvie’s 303 votes or 49.35 percent.
In Rialto, the voters there elected former Assemblyman/State Senator/Congressman Joe Baca Sr. to replace Karla Perez, who had been appointed by the city council in 2021 to replace Joe Baca Jr. on the council following the younger Baca’s 2020 election to the position of Fifth District County Supervisor.
In Rancho Cucamonga, the voters in District 1 chose Ashley Stickler to serve out the last two years of Councilman Sam Spagnolo’s term following his death in May.
In Upland, incumbent Councilwoman Janice Elliott was defeated in her bid to remain as the City of Gracious Living’s District 2 councilwoman by James Breitling.
In Colton, the city council in this election cycle was reduced from a panel consisting of an at-large elected mayor and six council members elected by-district to an at-large elected mayor and four council members elected by-district. The residences of both old District 1 Councilman David Toro and old District 2 Councilman Ernest Cisneros were folded into the new District 1. Cisneros chose not to run for reelection, and Toro was elected in November without opposition. In the city’s newly created District 2, former Councilwoman and Mayor Kelly Chastain, who was voted out of the mayoral role in 2010, ran against incumbent Councilman Kevin Koperski, who had represented the old District 3. Chastain won, returning herself to office and removing Koperski from the council. In the newly-drawn District 3, incumbents Isaac Suchil, who had represented District 6, and Luis González, who reprsented District 4, went head-to-head on November 8. González won.
In Yucaipa, two council incumbents, David Avila in District 1 and Greg Bogh in District 2, did not seek reelection this year. Matt Garner captured the District 1 post in a race that also featured Mark Taylor, Erik Sahakian and Sherilyn Long. In District 2, Chris Venable outpolled Nena Dragoo to capture that berth.
In Grand Terrace Mayor Darcy McNaboe, who was first elected to the council in 2010, was displaced by Councilman Bill Hussey in this year’s mayoral contest.
In Redlands, former District 5 Councilman and Mayor Paul Foster left office in January and was replaced by Mick Gallagher. Gallagher did not seek election. Following the redistricting that occurred in Redlands in 2021, District 3 Councilman Paul Barich was moved into District 5. He ran unopposed this year. Meanwhile, in the newly drawn District 3, Mike Saifie and Mario Saucedo competed this year, with Saucedo winning.
In Chino, Walt Pocock, who was appointed to fill the term of Mark Hargrove when the latter died in office 2021, opted out of seeking reelection as District 2 councilman. Curtis Burton, Sylvia Orozco and Gregory Marquez vied for the spot. Burton prevailed.

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