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June 27, 2022

Sotelo, Curro slated to win supervisor seats

Buckingham ousts DA incumbent; Taylor cruises to majority

Unofficial June 7 election results show that two San Benito County Supervisor candidates—Mindy Sotelo in District 3 and Angela Curro in District 4—as well as Sheriff Eric Taylor have secured enough votes to win their contests outright and avoid a runoff. 

And the county is slated to have a new district attorney for the first time since 2006, as veteran prosecutor Joel Buckingham leads incumbent Candice Hooper Mancino with about 59% of the votes counted so far, according to the San Benito County Elections website. Hooper has received about 41%, or 1,948 of the votes cast. 

Hooper was running for her fifth consecutive four-year term in the 2022 election. 

As of the morning of June 8, county elections officials had counted 100% of ballots cast in San Benito County and posted the “semi-official” results on the registrar’s website, sbcvote.us. A total of 5,076 people voted, for a turnout of about 14% of San Benito County voters, according to the website. 

Closely watched local races on the June 7 ballot included three Supervisor Districts, sheriff and district attorney. If a candidate in any race fails to secure more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will compete again in a runoff election Nov. 8. 

Taylor—who was appointed to the sheriff’s post last year by the board of supervisors—holds a commanding lead over challenger Juan Guevara. Taylor has received more than 67% of the votes cast, or 3,243 ballots, according to the county elections website. Guevara has received 1,585 votes. 

The board of supervisors appointed Taylor—a veteran with the local sheriff’s office—to the office in April 2021, shortly after former Sheriff Darren Thompson retired. 

In the three-way race for Supervisor District 3, San Benito County Farm Bureau Executive Director Mindy Sotelo has received nearly 61% of the votes cast, according to election officials. Candidate Rolan Resendiz, a Hollister City Councilmember, has won 28% and juvenile institution officer Eddie Alfaro has received about 11% of the ballots cast. 

In the District 4 election, retired election official Curro holds 52% of the vote—just enough to avoid a runoff if the results hold, according to the county website. Candidates Tony Avilla and Elia Salinas trail Curro with about 27% and 20% of the ballots, respectively. 

The crowded field in the District 1 race has not yielded a majority winner, as incumbent Betsy Dirks (with about 32% of the vote) and Dom Zanger (about 26%) are likely headed to a runoff on Nov. 8. Candidate Kim Hawk received about 14% of the vote, while Mark Starritt received about 13% and Elizabeth Zepeda Gonzalez about 9%, according to the elections website. 

The winner in the District 1 election will complete the unexpired term of former Supervisor Mark Medina, who resigned from the board in 2021. Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Dirks to the District 1 seat in October. 

The June 7 ballot also featured a number of congressional and statewide races, including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and more. 

In the 18th U.S. Congressional District, which includes San Benito County, incumbent Zoe Lofgren is well on her way to victory, with nearly 58% of votes counted so far, according to the California Secretary of State’s website. Lofgren easily defeated candidates Peter Hernandez (30% of the vote), currently a county supervisor, and U.S. citizenship instructor Luis Arreguin-Acevedo (12%).

Another clear local victor in the June 7 balloting is Assemblymember Robert Rivas, who was running for re-election in the State Assembly District 29 race. Rivas has won about 67% of the votes counted so far, while challenger Stephanie Castro has received about 33%, according to the Secretary of State’s website. 

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