PHOTO CAPTION: The three most recent superintendents of Woodlake Unified School District gathered to cheer for Woodlake Tigers varsity football as they victoriously competed Friday, Nov. 9, in Division 5 playoffs on their home turf. From left to right: Alfonso Gamino (current superintendent), Tim Hire (2007-2012), Drew Sorensen (2012-2018). Tim Hire is the projected winner of the Tulare County Superintendent of Schools race.
* * *
In the November 6, 2018, midterm election, California had a voter turnout of 75.27 percent. In Tulare County, that number is typically lower and this election was no exception. Out of the 169,367 who are registered to vote countywide, 93,791, or 55 percent, cast a ballot.
It typically takes weeks for California counties to process and count all of the ballots. Elections officials have one month to complete their tallying, auditing, and certification work.
It has now been more than two weeks since the election. Most races have been decided. Even though there are still ballots to be counted, it is unlikely that the results will change any present outcomes. Interestingly, the two closest races are state Superintendent of Public Instruction (less than a 2 percent margin) and Tulare County Superintendent of Schools (2.5% margin).
State law requires county elections officials to report their final results to the Secretary of State by December 7, 2018. The Secretary of State has until December 14, 2018, to certify the results for the election.
Tulare County is a red county in a blue state. While every top state office will be held by a Democrat, the Tulare County majority voted the opposite in every category except Lieutenant Governor, which had two Democrat candidates.
Governor— Gavin Newsom
Lieutenant Governor— Eleni Kounalakis
Secretary of State— Alex Padilla
Controller— Betty Yee
Treasurer— Fiona Ma
Attorney General— Xavier Becerra
Insurance Commissioner—Ricardo Lara
U.S. Senator— Dianne Feinstein
State Superintendent of Schools— Tony Thurmond leads Marshall Tuck with 50.8 of the votes. This race remains too close to call.
Supreme Court-Associate Justices— Both Carol Corrigan and Leondra Kruger were confirmed by voters.
State Board of Equalization, 1st District— Ted Gaines (R)
U.S. Representative, 23rd District— Kevin McCarthy (R, incumbent)
State Assembly, 23rd District— Jim Patterson (R, incumbent)
State Senator, 8th District— Andreas Borgeas (R)
Andreas Borgeas is a County of Fresno supervisor who will succeed Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto), who terms out of the State Senate in December after logging 12 years in the Assembly and Senate. Berryhill has been struggling with health issues.
He was on the November ballot for Stanislaus County supervisor but not seen much on the campaign trail. He won the seat anyway with 52.21 percent.
Berryhill, 64, began suffering from intense back pain early this year and fractured a hip in July. The senator was diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s disease in August, which was causing the back pain.
Berryhill also underwent a heart transplant in 2001. His staff said experts in Parkinson’s disease told him there’s no reason for him to stop seeking office.
Court of Appeal, Fifth District-Associate Justice— The six associate justices (of 10) on the ballot were elected to retain their seats.
Justices of the California Courts of Appeal are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The appointments must be confirmed by the public via retention election at the first general election following appointment. If retained by the voters,
a court of appeal justice continues in office.
1 – Housing Assistance Programs: YES
2 – Housing Program / Mental Illness: YES
3 – Water Supply Bonds: NO
4 – Children’s Hospitals Bonds: YES
5 – Property Tax Transfer: NO
6 – Gas Tax Repeal: NO
7 – Daylight Saving Time: YES
8 – Dialysis Clinics: NO
10 – Rent Control: NO
11 – On-Call Ambulance Employees: YES
12 – Farm Animal Confinement Standards: YES
In the County Superintendent of Schools race, Tim Hire, former Woodlake Unified School District superintendent and current Exeter High superintendent, has retained a narrow lead over Craig Wheaton, former Visalia Unified School District superintendent and current Deputy Superintendent of Tulare County Schools.
As of Tuesday, Nov. 20, Hire had 51.35 percent of the vote to Wheaton’s 48.43 percent. With each new county election report released, Hire’s slim margin has been increasing and he is the projected winner of this race.
Hire will take the reins to oversee Tulare County's 48 school districts from Jim Vidak, who is retiring as the county superintendent of schools after holding this elected position for 28 years.
Measure E, the $4 million bond for Three Rivers Union School, which required 55 percent approval to pass, continues to gain support. The measure had a commanding lead on election night that has continued to grow.
Initial reports had Measure E ahead 511 to 284. As of Tuesday, Nov. 20, the tally stands at 802 (65.95%) yes votes to 414 (34.05%) no votes.
Measure E will provide TRUS with much-needed funds, and allow the district to acquire matching grants, for building upgrades and modernization that haven't been accomplished in decades.