The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

City Council races still up for grabs


Last updated 11/23/2020 at 6:42am | View PDF

The City Council races in Shafter and Wasco are still up for grabs, over two weeks after Election Day.

In Shafter, three seats are available and have four candidates still within 3.5 percentage points of each other. In the latest update, Kris Lawrence had overtaken Mayor Gilbert Alvarado for the third council seat.

Last week, Alvarado had passed Lawrence and Chad Givens to hold the second position, after being in fourth place at the end of election night.

With a number of votes still uncounted, it is possible for the standings to change once again before the election is officially confirmed.

In the latest round of updates, Pete Espinoza still is the top vote getter with a little over 20% of the vote. Givens had retaken the second spot with almost 18% of the vote. Lawrence leads Alvarado by a little over 30 votes.

The change could have been the result of the amount of absentee ballots that have been counted. With the majority of the votes in the Gossamer Grove area mailed in ballots, Lawrence, a Gossamer Grove resident, could have benefited from those numbers.

Another closely watched race was that of U.S. Representative for the 21st District where incumbent TJ Cox ran against former Rep. David Valadao. As of Saturday, Nov.14, Cox had a total of 32,685 votes while Valadao had 22,791 votes.

In Wasco, the race in the City Council 3rd District is even closer, with Vincent Martinez slipping past William David Ward for a lead of seven votes. Martinez was behind by a few percentage points since election night, but Ward’s lead had continued to dwindle as the count proceeded. With counting still being processed, this race could change.

Tilo Cortez, Jr. still has a lead in the District 4 race, but it has been reduced to 12 votes. Cortez has 50.78% of the vote, with Eddie Saldana receiving 49.22%. Wasco’s Measure H, which would have meant up to $16 million in bonds for Wasco’s school improvements, is still going down with only 48.6% voting Yes on the Measure.

John Steward and Sharon Nicol are well ahead of candidate Joel Ackernecht for the two seats available on the Wasco Union High School Board.

“I would like to thank the Community of Wasco for their support of me in my bid for a seat on the Wasco High School Board,” candidate John Steward said. “I look forward to working with new District Superintendent Rob Cobb and his staff in making decisions that are in the best interest of WHS students and staff. Go Tigers!”

With more votes left to be counted, the races will be updated daily on the Shafter Press and the Wasco Tribune websites.


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