San Benito County voters will have an abundance of choices for numerous local offices that will appear on the June 7 primary ballot.

The local ballot features the newly redrawn 18th U.S. Congressional District, three county supervisors seats, district attorney’s office, sheriff-coroner and more. The complete list of candidates is posted on the San Benito County Clerk, Auditor & Recorder office’s website:

The upcoming election will be the first under the California Voters Choice Act, which is designed to give all voters a variety of options and plenty of time to cast their ballots. Starting 29 days before the election, the local elections office will begin mailing out “voter kits” to every registered voter. These kits contain blank ballots, as well as detailed information about voting locations, dates and hours—“all the information they need to make an informed decision,” said County Assistant Clerk-Recorder Francisco Diaz.

“Voters have the option to decide when, where and how they are going to vote,” Diaz said.

People can vote in person or drop off their completed ballots at any of the county’s vote centers—two of which will be open for 11 days leading up to June 7, elections officials said. Two additional vote centers will be open for four days in advance of June 7, and six drop boxes located throughout the county will be open for 29 days, including Election Day. 

As always, completed ballots can also be returned to the elections office through the U.S. Postal Service, added Diaz, who is running uncontested for the County Clerk-Recorder’s seat.

Incumbent County Clerk-Recorder Joe Paul Gonzalez, who was first elected to the position in 2006, is running uncontested for the County Auditor-Controller’s seat in the June 7 election.

San Benito County assistant clerk-recorder-registrar of voters Francisco Diaz, left, is pictured in October 2020 helping to install a ballot drop box outside Windmill Market in San Juan Bautista. Windmill Market shopping center will again be one of six ballot drop box locations throughout the county for the June 7 primary election. File photo

Contested seats and qualified candidates on the county’s official list are:

– U.S. Representative, 18th District: Zoe Lofgren (currently 19th District Congressmember); Luis Acevedo-Arreguin (U.S. Citizenship Instructor); and Peter Hernandez (county supervisor and business owner).

– State Assembly, 29th District: Robert Rivas (incumbent); Stephanie L. Castro (educator/mother).

– Supervisor, District 1 (northeast Hollister and North County): Mark Starritt (builder/commercial pilot); Sandra Gail Patterson (business owner); Kim Hawk (retired county employee); Dom Zanger (estate manager); Elizabeth Zepeda Gonzalez (nonprofit administrator); Betsy Dirks (appointed incumbent).

The election for the above office is for the completion of an existing four-year term that is set to expire in 2024.

– Supervisor, District 3 (southwest Hollister): Mindy Sotelo (executive director/mother); Rolan Resendiz (teacher/Hollister city councilmember); Eddie Alfaro (juvenile institution officer).

– Supervisor, District 4 (South County, southeast Hollister, Tres Pinos, Ridgemark): Elia Salinas (businesswoman); Angela Curro (retired assistant recorder); Tony Avilla (retired business manager).

– District Attorney: Joel A. Buckingham (deputy district attorney); Candice Hooper Mancino (incumbent).

– Sheriff-Coroner: Juan Guevara (law enforcement officer); Eric S. Taylor (appointed incumbent).

All voters in San Benito County will also have the chance to cast ballots June 7 for a variety of statewide offices, including governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller, treasurer, attorney general and more. For a complete list of statewide candidates, visit the California Secretary of State’s website at

For more information about local candidates, and a complete list of offices on the June 7 ballot, visit the county elections office website at

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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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