Only 28 percent of registered voters in Santa CruzCounty turned out to vote in the Tuesday, June 5, presidential primary election, which also asked voters to decide statewide propositions, a local school tax and races on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.
The local ballot also featured the primary races for positions in the California Legislature and the U.S. Senate.
The primary system was different in years past, however, with the top-two vote-getters, regardless of party, advancing to the Nov. 6 general election.
“It kind of played out as expected,” said County Clerk Gail Pellerin. “I don’t think there were any surprises.”
Candidates for county supervisor and other local offices, however, could earn outright victory June 5 if they received more than 50 percent of all votes tallied.
It was also the first election since a citizens’ commission redrew political districts for county and state offices.
Measure K wins cash for school
ScottsValleyvoters overwhelmingly approved Measure K, a $48-per-parcel annual tax which should generate about $350,000 a year for Scotts Valley’s public schools.
The money should help stave off teacher layoffs, class size increases and program losses resulting from reduced educational funding by the state.
“I think it’s a real indication of all the community’s support of our teachers and schools,” said Derek Timm of Save Our Schools Scotts Valley, which spearheaded an effort to get the measure approved. “The community understood through the campaign that our schools were in real financial straits.”
The measure needed a two-thirds vote to pass and easily reached that mark, with 76 percent of the 4,117 voters approving.
“The community really answered the call,” Timm said. “Their willingness to help really feels great.”
Term limits altered by Proposition 28
By a 64 percent vote, Californians changed the total amount of time a person can serve in the state Legislature from 14 to 12 years, but that dozen years can now be spent in a single house.
Previously, legislators could serve a maximum of six years in the Assembly and eight years in the Senate.
Proposition 29 cigarette tax on brink of failure
An additional $1 tax on each pack of cigarettes sold in California appears to have failed by a small margin.
Though thousands of mail-in votes were still to be counted as of press time, Wednesday, June 6, with all precincts giving their unofficial reports, 50.8 percent of Californians had voted no on the measure.
Supporters hoped to raise about $735 million each year for cancer and tobacco-related disease research through Proposition 29.
Incumbent Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will run against Elizabeth Emken, R-Danville, in the fall. Feinstein gathered 49.5 percent of the vote, with Emken gathering 12.5 percent in a ballot category featuring 24 candidates.
InSanta CruzCounty, Feinstein garnered nearly 64 percent of the vote.
17th State Senate District
Bill Monning, D-Carmel, running for the state Senate for the first time after serving four years as a member of the Assembly, will face Larry Beaman, R-Scotts Valley, in November.
Monning received 59.2 percent of the vote in the district, and Beaman 40.8 percent. However, inSanta CruzCounty, Monning took 73.42 percent and Beaman just more than 26 percent.
18th Congressional District
Incumbent Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Republican Dave Chapman will advance to face each other in the Nov. 6 election.
Eshoo captured 60.6 percent of the vote across the 18th District and 63.9 percent inSanta CruzCounty.
29th Assembly District
Mark Stone,D-ScottsValley, and Tom Walsh, R-Bonny Doon, will vie for the Assembly seat vacated by Bill Monnin, who is running for a state senate seat.
Stone took 54.7 percent of the vote district-wide, including 60.64 percent inSanta CruzCounty, while Walsh won 31.8 percent in the district and 25.1 percent in the county.
1st District Santa Cruz County Supervisor
Incumbent 1st District Supervisor John Leopold handily won his re-election bid, garnering 70.31 percent of the vote — 4,300 more votes than Gary Arnold, his closest rival.
The 1st District lines were re-drawn to include a portion of northernScottsValley on the east side of Highway 17.
5th District Santa Cruz County Supervisor
Pending a count of mail-in ballots, it appears Bruce McPherson and Eric Hammer are headed for a Nov. 6 runoff election.
For more information: www.votescount.com