Merced D.A. candidate Silveira ousts incumbent, it’s Gray vs. Duarte for Congress

On June 15, 2022 by Justin Collins
Nicole Argabright Silveira defeated her boss to win the race for Merced County District Attorney. Assemblyman Adam Gray leads in the race for Congress and will face farmer John Duarte in November.
Sources: Silveira campaign website, Gray official, Duarte campaign Facebook page

UPDATE: Soria leads Pazin in Assembly race; Alanis leads Self, Condit in Assembly race; Supervisor Silveira, five others re-elected without opposition, Superintendent Tietjen fends off challenger

On June 7, 2022, the Merced County Elections Office posted the tentative unofficial results for the primary election with 58.63% of the precincts reporting. The top two candidates in each race will move on to the general election in November. As of Monday, June 13, votes from only 164 of the county’s 278 precincts had been reported.

County Races

There is a serious shake up in the race for District Attorney, with the incumbent Kimberly Helms Lewis significantly behind challenger Supervising Deputy District Attorney Nicole Argabright Silveira. Silveira led by nearly a two to one margin with 66.56% of the vote compared to Lewis’ 33.16% of the vote on election night. The gap has since increased to 67% for Silveira to 32.75% for Lewis, a difference of 5,703 votes as of the Monday update. A write-in candidate received 41 votes or 0.25%.

Steve Tietjen, County Superintendent of Schools, has won the primary for his re-election with 58.39% of the vote, defeating challenger Alberto Lopez Velarde who garnered 41.13% as of the Monday update.

County Supervisor Scott Silveira, no relation to the new D.A., who represents District 5 including Los Banos, ran unopposed as did Sheriff-Coroner Vernon Howard Warnke, Assessor-Recorder Matt May, Auditor-Controller Lisa Cardella-Presto, Treasurer-Tax Collector Karen Adams and District 3 Supervisor Daron McDaniel.


Due to the redistricting that took effect this year, Los Banos is now part of the new 13th Congressional District, which means that Jim Costa is now running to represent a different district, and that our district is open. Our current State Assemblyman, Adam Gray (D), took first place in the open primary and in Merced County is carrying 37.69% of the vote followed by fourth-generation farmer John Duarte (R) who obtained 27.75%. But according to the California Secretary of State’s website, throughout District 13, Duarte is leading Gray 33.6% to 32.9% of the vote. The two will face off in November.

State Legislature

Publisher’s Note: In a June 15, 2022 article on our website and in the June 24th issue of the paper, we published information about the election results in Assembly District 22. However, following last year’s statewide redistricting, Los Banos is now located in Assembly District 27. Apologies for the mistake. Following is the correct information:

UPDATE: In the race for Assembly in District 22, which includes most of Merced County and portions of Madera and Fresno counties, former Merced County Sheriff and current Chief of Law Enforcement for the California Office of Emergency Services Mark Pazin will face District 1 Fresno Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria in the November general election, having bested two others.

According to the California Secretary of State’s website, in the top-two, open June primary election, Democrat Soria, an adjunct professor at Fresno City College, took first place throughout the district with 20,345 votes or 40.1% to 17,775 votes or 35% for Republican Pazin, who, in his role since 2014, also oversees State Homeland Security, Maritime and Rail/Mass Transit, Search and Rescue and the State Threat Assessment System.

In third place was Dos Palos native and Firebaugh resident, Republican Amanda Fleming, who works for her family’s Ag & Industrial Supply Company, with 8,527 votes or 16.8% of the vote. In last place was another Fresno Councilmember, Democrat Mike Karbassi who represents District 1 and is part owner of his family’s Persian rug business. He received 4,096 votes or 8.1%.

In Merced County, the race was much closer with Soria, also placing first, garnering 10,695 votes or 39.27% to Pazin’s 10,302 votes or 37.83% of the vote. Fleming had 4,272 votes or 15.69% and Karbassi received 1,909 or 7.1% of the vote. There were a total of 57 write-in votes for just 0.21%.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

Filed under: Community, Government, News +

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