Peters leads supervisor race

McCarthy, Fong retake seats; ballot mesaures fail; Dems have no clear delegate

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Peters leads supervisor raceBakersfield resident Phillip Peters — the successor Mick Gleason tapped to follow him as Kern County 1st District Supervisor — procured a commanding lead in the March 3 Primary Election.

However, at press time the Kern County Elections Division reported that an unknown number of ballots remain uncounted. They have 30 days to certify the election, at which point the California Secretary of State’s office will either declare Peters the winner (if he gets 50-percent-plus-1 of the vote), or add a ballot item to the November General Election allowing the top two vote-getters a run-off.

Official uncertified results posted early Wednesday morning (not yet updated by press time) report Peters receiving 14,735 votes for 52.6 percent of the vote. Marijuana farmer David Fluhart got 6,942 for 24.78 percent of the vote. Kern Valley business owner-retired deputy Daures Stephens received 6,337 votes for 22.62.

In other districts across the county, incumbents held onto their supervisorial seats. This is the second time incumbents have been reelected since the landmark finding in 2018 in favor of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

In 2016, MALDEF sued the county for what they claimed were unfair district lines that prohibited the election of a second Latino representative. A judge ordered MALDEF and county officials to redraw those lines to create a second “minority-majority” district, which they did before the 2018 election.

While the MALDEF revisions have had no impact on board leadership, that decision has had a subtle impact on the 1st District, where Ridgecrest used to have the highest concentration of high-propensity voters. The MALDEF agreement shifted lines to incorporate a much larger area of Bakersfield. So the challenge to East Kern residents is making sure their voices are heard. If Peters wins the seat, that makes 4 of our 5 county supervisors residents of the greater Bakersfield metropolitan area.

Other Kern County results saw incumbent Kevin McCarthy, who serves as House Republican Leader beat Democratic Challenger Kim Mangone, 70 percent to 30 percent.

Assemblyman Vince Fong, also a Republican, beat Democratic challenger Julie Solis 75 percent to 25 percent.

Prop 13 was voted down by a wide margin in Kern County, and failed statewide with 56 percent voting no and 44 percent voting yes.

A pair of competing measures authorizing marijuana sales in the county were also voted down, with voters saying no to Measure D 60.3 percent to 39.7 percent, and denying Measure E 58.13 percent to 41.87 percent.

Polarizing president Donald Trump managed to capture 92.7 percent of the Republican vote in California with 1,406,023 votes.

On the Democratic ticket, which saw three major candidates drop out in the days leading up to the primary, Bernie Sanders was California’s pick with 932,582 votes, or 33.1 percent support.

He lead Joe Biden with 682,093 votes (24.2), Michael Bloomberg with 414,462 (14.7) and Elizabeth Warren with 340,740 (12.1). A slew of other candidates — many of whom had already dropped out in the days leading up to the primary — scored single-digit support at the ballot. Following the primary election, Bloomberg and Warren dropped out as well.

The latest delegate counts put Biden and Sanders as far ahead of the pack — although neither had anywhere near the 1,991 necessary to secure the nomination. Political analysts have expressed concern about what this means for the Democratic Party.

Fivethirtyeight.com says that the odds of Biden or Sanders winning a plurality are at 2 in 3 and 1 in three, respectively, but that chances of no one winning half of pledged delegates is 3 in 5.

“That could trigger a contested convention in July, a potentially chaotic and caustic process that Democrats haven’t had to undertake since 1952 and that some fear could pave the way to President Trump’s re-election,” Spencer Bokat-Lindell, New York Times columnist, wrote Tuesday.

Updated information on county results will be reported as they are made available. For more information visit www.kernvote.com or www.sos.ca.gov.

Pictured: Richard Wagner checks in with the assistance of polling place volunteer Katie Miller. — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2020-03-06