The two candidates for San Benito County District 1 Supervisor are in a close race, with less than 100 votes separating them in the early, unofficial Nov. 8 results counted by elections officials. 

As of the morning of Nov. 9, incumbent Betsy Dirks trails challenger Dom Zanger with a total of 2,003 votes counted, according to the county elections site. Dirks has received 898, or 48% of the votes counted; and Zanger has garnered 52%, or 974 votes. 

Betsy Dirks

The winner of the District 1 seat will complete the current term, which was left empty when former Supervisor Mark Medina resigned in June 2021. Following Medina’s resignation, the remaining board members asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint his temporary replacement. 

Newsom appointed Dirks to the seat in October 2021.

The current term expires in 2023, after which there will be a regular election for the supervisor’s four-year term. 

Dirks is a longtime educator and consultant. Zanger is an estate manager and carpenter.

The seat was also on the June 7 primary election ballot, with Dirks and Zanger up against Mark Starritt, Sandra Gail Patterson, Kim Hawk and Elizabeth Zepeda Gonzalez. 

Dom Zanger

No majority winner emerged from the crowded field, and Dirks and Zanger proceeded to the Nov. 8 runoff as the top two vote getters. 

Also in the June 7 primary, supervisor-elect Mindy Sotelo won a clear majority in the District 3 race, which is currently held by Peter Hernandez. And in District 4, Angela Curro finished with 52% of the vote in a three-candidate field. District 4 is currently represented by Bob Tiffany. 

Sotelo and Curro will take their new seats on the board of supervisors at the beginning of 2023.

Hernandez and Tiffany declined to run for reelection for their respective seat in 2022. Hernandez ran for the 18th District of the U.S. Congress, which was won handily by longtime incumbent Zoe Lofgren. 

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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