Gray, Soria, Caballero lead in congressional, state races
A majority of the results are in for last night’s elections. While not all votes have been counted and some of the races may change, the current leaders are expected to stay the same. The difference in votes between candidates is in some cases rather large.
In local races, the mayoral election comes as little surprise to anyone with Paul Llanez running unopposed and receiving 88.74% of the vote. The remaining 11.26% of the vote went to “write-in” of which most or all were for certified write-in candidate Jim Davis.
Next, we have the Los Banos City Council District 2 race. This seat was initially left vacant by former mayor Tom Faria when he won the mayoral election in 2020, while there were still two years remaining on his term on the city council. The council appointed Refugio Llamas to the seat, but that term expires this year. Llamas ran for re-election against Douglas Begonia, Jr. and with 63.64% of the precincts reporting, Begonia has a sizable lead with 58.22% of the vote compared to Llamas’ 39.92% of the vote.
Brett Jones ran for re-election for City Council District 3 unopposed. He received roughly 95% of the vote. Lucy Mallonee also ran unopposed for the office of City Clerk, and also received 95% of the vote. Interestingly however, the city treasurer race had no one on the ballot, but received 420 write-in votes. But those won’t count since no certified write-in candidate entered the race.
In the race for Los Banos School Board Area 7, the incumbent Ray Martinez is losing decisively with only 28.62% of the vote compared to the challenger Dayna Valadao who has a commanding 69.7% of the vote. The three other incumbents up for election,
Since 2005 Jim Costa has represented Los Banos in Congress as part of the 20th congressional district and then 16th congressional district since 2013. In 2022 congressional redistricting took effect meaning Costa no longer would be in our district. This left the district wide open for our State Assemblyman Adam Gray (D) and farmer John Duarte (R) to battle head-to-head for the seat. Currently Gray is in the lead with 52.2% of the vote compared to John Duarte 47.8%.
With Adam Gray running for Congress, which left State Assembly District 27 open as well. Currently Esmeralda Soria (D) is leading with 52.6% of the vote over her opponent former Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin (R) with 47.4% of the vote.
Finally, in the race for State Senate District 14, incumbent Anna Caballero was defeating challenger, businessman and Rabbi Amnon Shor. With 306 of the 706 precincts in the district reporting or 43.3% Caballero had 44,283 votes or 57.3% of the vote to Shor’s 33,056 and 42.7%.
Check this website later for updates to all the local election results.
Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.