An initial tally of votes showed Anna Caballero and Karina Cervantez Alejo, both Democrats, had the lead in advancing to a District 30 assemblymember race in November.
The top two vote-getters from this contest will go on to the general election in November, regardless of their party, explained Angela Curro, the assistant county clerk-recorder-registrar of voters, in an interview with the Free Lance before results were released. District 30 serves San Benito County, Salinas Valley, South Santa Clara County, North Monterey County and the City of Watsonville.
With all precincts partially reporting by Wednesday morning, Caballero gathered 45.7 percent, or 20,091 votes; while Cervantez Alejo gathered 25.1 percent, or 11,024 votes.
“They’re terrific,” said Caballero on Wednesday morning, as she reflected on the initial results. “I’m really pleased with them, obviously.”
Cervantez Alejo responded to the Free Lance’s requests for comment with an email Wednesday afternoon.
“This is a race that will go on until November,” Cervantez Alejo wrote. “I'm proud of all the young people that got involved in our campaign, the broad coalition of support behind me, and how hard we all worked. Close to 1.6 million of outside money in independent expenditures was spent against me, and a lot of that was in negative campaigning. I am confident that in November we will be successful.”
Republican Candidate Georgia Acosta gathered 16.1 percent, or 7,089 votes; while John Nevill, also Republican, gathered 13.1 percent, or 5,778 votes. Acosta could not be immediately reached for comment. Nevill plans to be running again in the 2018 district election, he said.
“Basically, just let people know that we’ve enjoyed the experience and that it’s been really wonderful to meet the people and get to know the issues,” Nevill told the Free Lance on Wednesday.
The district’s current assemblyman, Luis Alejo, a Democrat, termed out of the position, leaving four candidates vying for his seat. The Democratic candidates included Alejo’s wife, Cervantez Alejo, who is an educator, and Caballero, a former member of Gov. Jerry Brown’s cabinet. The Republican candidates included Acosta, who has strong roots in the agriculture industry, and Nevill, a sheep rancher and retired director of cardiopulmonary services for a hospital.
This is a developing story. Check back at San BenitoCountyToday.com for updates.