election day 2022 primary los altos community center

Los Altos Community Center's voting center was very quiet on Election Day June 7, when a reporter there to cast her own ballot counted more volunteers than voters on the premises. The majority of local voters return mail-in ballots.

With an estimated 96% of the vote counted in Santa Clara County in the June 7 primary election, Measure A hangs by a thread, and Measure G remains too close to call.

Turnout was low, with an estimated 35% of registered voters casting ballots.

The result of the Fremont Union High School District bond measure is still up in the air. Measure G requires 55% of the vote to pass, and as mail-in ballots have been opened over the past week, its chances for success tipped up – as of Tuesday night, 55.61% of voters had cast their votes in favor, but thousands more ballots wait to be tallied.

“We’re waiting on pins and needles,” Deputy Superintendent Graham Clark told the Town Crier.

The third bond measure proposed by the district in eight years, Measure G would release $275 million in bonds to update aging schools facilities.

According to Graham, a district-run survey in January showed 59-60% support for the measure. Much has changed since January, including record-high inflation, Graham said.

“We hit kind of a headwind here with some of the macroeconomic factors,” he said. “People are a little more concerned about increasing their taxes.”

Measure A

As of Tuesday, 50.55% of tallied votes supported the measure, a drop from last week. Measure A requires a simple majority to pass.

Measure A was billed as a plan to limit the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s board members to four terms of four years; however, the effect of the measure would actually raise the current limit of three terms.

If passed, board members Tony Estremera and Dick Santos, who supported the measure, would be able to seek an additional term this year and in 2024, respectively.

In an email to the Town Crier, Valley Water CEO Rick Callender thanked county voters who approved Measure A and “provided their preference for the service terms for our Board of Directors.”

“Our communities want long-term sustainability and the confidence that Valley Water projects will get done in a timely and affordable manner,” Callender wrote. “We look forward to continuing to serve our community fairly and equitably.”

DA incumbent wins outright; runoff set for county sheriff

With only 4% of the vote left to be counted in Santa Clara County, some races in the June 7 primary election appear to have a clear outcome, while others may come down to the wire as the Registrar of Voters continues tabulating ballots.

County and state controller races

In county races, Palo Alto Police Chief Robert Jonsen was in the lead for sheriff, followed by former Sheriff’s Office captain Kevin Jensen. Jonsen is ahead with 32.03% of the vote while Jensen has garnered 30.52%.

Either Jonsen or Jensen will succeed embattled outgoing Sheriff Laurie Smith, who is in court fighting corruption charges.

“Keeping fingers crossed I have enough votes to move on to November,” Jonsen said Thursday. “If the general election is in the cards, I will be very excited about the opportunity to bring new leadership to the Sheriff’s Office. … It’s time for a fresh perspective, with the necessary experience, to address the challenges the department is confronted with.”

Jeff Rosen retained his position as county district attorney, collecting 56.01%  of the vote. Challenger Daniel Chung was a distant second with 24.39% , and Sajid Khan took 19.60%.

“Santa Clara County leads the way in technology, diversity and the smart and balanced way we strive to handle criminal justice,” Rosen, a Los Altos resident, said in a statement Thursday. “Today’s vote once again shows there is a mandate for safety and fairness. Not one at the expense of the other, but both.”

The county assessor’s race was even less of a contest, with voters opting for longtime incumbent Larry Stone (67.48%) over challenger Andrew Crockett (32.52%).

These three county contests are considered nonpartisan, so any candidate capturing 50% plus one wins the race outright, with no need for a runoff election in November.

That means only sheriff is likely to appear on the November ballot.

One statewide contest, for state controller, has particular local significance. In the initial days after polls closed, Mountain View resident Lanhee Chen, a Republican, was well ahead in a race that also featured four Democrats and one Green Party member.

“We have taken an important first step toward restoring transparency and accountability to Sacramento,” Chen said in a statement last week. 

But as the registrar counted mail-in ballots, Democrat Malia Cohen began to catch up. As of Tuesday night, Cohen had received 26.69% of the vote and Chen 26.27%.

Chen, currently chairman of the El Camino Hospital Board of Directors, and Cohen are headed for a runoff in the Nov. 8 election.

16th District U.S. Congress

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo received the plurality (45.88%) of the vote at the current count, with Democrat Rishi Kumar coming in a distant second (17.01%).

The long-serving congressmember and the Saratoga City Council member, who previously ran against one another in 2020’s race, will likely again face off in the November election. Peter Ohtaki came the closest of any Republican, receiving approximately 12.70% of the vote.

The top two vote-getters compete in the November election, regardless of party or vote margin.

If elected, Eshoo would enter her 16th term in Congress in January.

“It’s humbling to receive the overwhelming support of the voters,” Eshoo wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “With 7 men vying, we ran a positive and ethical campaign and prevailed with almost 50 percent of all votes cast. I look forward to continuing this effort in the general election.”

Kumar is optimistic about his chances in the November.

“We’re gearing up already for the inevitable Rishi v. Eshoo general election rematch. We are building up on the 127,000 votes in November 2020 – the highest by any Eshoo challenger in 30 years,” Kumar said in an email.

23rd District State Assembly

Incumbent Assemblymember Marc Berman, a Democrat, far outpaced his only competition, Republican Tim Dec, winning just more than three-quarters of the vote in the newly drawn 23rd Assembly District.

Although Berman received the majority of votes, the two will still run against one another in November.

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