Local Elections on Candidates and One Measure

Californians continue to sweat over candidates and ballot measures for next week’s Tuesday election. Locally, some candidates and issues have captured interest too.

The most high profile race in Mono County – The Superior Court Judge contest. The run-off election between Mark Magit and Randy Gephart has stirred public comment, letters to the editor and a flurry of advertising.

In June, attorney Therese Hankel had also run but did not make the run-off. She threw her support to Gephart. Magit had gained the most votes – 1564 to Gephart’s 1458. Hankel drew 341 votes.

A run-off race also unfolds in the Mono District 4 Supervisor seat. In the June election, Tim Hansen gained 285 votes and Tim Fesko 269. Those two are in a run-off.

In late summer, controversy erupted in the Eastern Sierra Unified School District with a sudden budget shortfall of nearly $2 million. Teacher lay-offs followed and so did closure of the Eastern Sierra Academy in Bridgeport. Intense community unhappiness broke out in several public meetings. This led to races in two school board seats.

In the Antelope Valley seat, three candidates want the position – Randy Gilbert, John Peters and Bob Tems. In the Tri-Valley seat, incumbent Ann Aylesworth will run and Matthew Baumann has challenged her.

In the Mammoth Protection District Board two seats are open with three candidates. They are Richard Blanco, Richard Good and Brent Peterson. In the Mammoth Hospital Board two seats are open and three candidates filed – incumbent board members Jack Copeland and Linda Salcido and Dr. Dennis Crunk.

Finally, for Mono County voters, selection of a new state senator to fill the vacancy left by the death of Senator Dave Cox. Four people have filed – Red Gaines, Ken Cooley, Barbara Alby and Roger Niello.

By comparison, Inyo County has a quiet election day locally. Measure C, known as the Chicken Measure goes on the ballot for City of Bishop voters. Actually the measure covers regulation of chickens and rabbits in the city limits. Even the Los Angeles Times found this story newsworthy. A heated citizen controversy did precede this ballot measure.

The only board race happens in the Lone Pine School Board where three seats are open and four candidates filed. They are incumbents Pamela Bills-Daugherty, William Dell, and Nancy Lamar-Overbey. Challenger Leroy Kritz also filed.

Inyo County Clerk-elect Kammi Foote noted that she and the staff have heard some citizens say that if elections are not close absentee ballots will not be counted. Foote said that is not true. All votes are meticulously counted, including mail in ballots and those handed in at precincts.

Mono Clerk Lynda Roberts advises that at this late date, if you vote by mail and have not yet mailed your ballot, drop it off in person at the main elections office in Bridgeport, the satellite office in Mammoth or on Election Day at any of the Mono County polling places. More info, call 932-5537.

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