Election Night: Slow-growth candidates control Pleasanton council races | November 11, 2022 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - November 11, 2022

Election Night: Slow-growth candidates control Pleasanton council races

PUSD's Measure I bond, Alameda County DA too close to call. Plus, results so far for Sunol, Livermore and Dublin

by Christian Trujano, Nicole Gonzales, Cierra Bailey, Jeremy Walsh

Election Night has come to an end with both of Pleasanton's two City Council races showing slow-growth candidates with comfortable leads, according to initial returns released just after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Other big ticket items for Pleasanton residents such as the Pleasanton Unified School District's Measure I school bond and the Alameda County district attorney race are still too close to call.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office reports voter turnout so far countywide as 18.31%, representing vote-by-mail ballots received before Election Day and votes cast in-person. An unknown number of eligible vote-by-mail, conditional and provisional ballots still need to be counted.

Tuesday's general election was Pleasanton's first time following a district-based format for the City Council's four-year term seats, with District 1 representing the northwest Pleasanton neighborhoods and District 3 representing the southwestern part of the city.

In the open District 1 race Jeff Nibert, a 35-year resident of Pleasanton and a current member of the city's Planning Commission, is far in the lead with 63.14% of votes. His challenger Dean Wallace, a political staffer who currently works as a district director for Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Berkeley), currently sits in second place with 36.86% of votes.

Some of Nibert's campaign goals include supporting affordable housing in areas where it makes sense while retaining local control, improving the city's water wells and maintaining the city's public safety.

In District 3, City Council incumbent Julie Testa is leading with 44.81% of votes while chair of the city's Committee on Energy and the Environment Joel Liu trails behind with 34.39% of votes. The third candidate and former PUSD trustee Jamie Yee fell short with 20.81% of votes.

Testa is in her fourth year serving on the City Council and has held a strong position on fighting to maintain local control and pushing back on the state's mandated housing laws. Apart from that, she has also supported recent council items to do more work on the city's problem with its water wells and has also called for more police oversight in the form of an independent auditor.

Pleasanton's Mayor Karla Brown, who ran unopposed during this election but was still required to appear on the ballot, has received 8,579 votes thus far -- compared to the 18,192 she got in a hotly contested 2020 mayor race.

In the PUSD school board race for the Area 2 seat, which is the district representing the areas surrounding Hart Middle and Fairlands Elementary schools, administrative secretary Laurie Walker has taken a strong lead with 56.45% of votes.

Her main opponent and longtime Pleasanton resident Urvi Shah is far behind Walker with 32.10% of votes. Shah is a mother of two who used to run a licensed daycare in town for five years but is now transitioning to real estate.

Christine Lutz, a human resources recruiter who qualified for the ballot early in the election cycle but bowed out of the campaign, was also on the ballot and was able to get 11.45% of the vote without running an active campaign.

Former city planning commissioner Justin Brown will earn the Trustee Area 5 seat without appearing on the ballot as unopposed.

Aside from the school board, one of the biggest items on the ballot that concerned PUSD was Measure I, a $395 million general obligation bond measure, which is just shy of the amount of votes needed to pass.

In order for a bond measure to pass, it needs better than 55% of the vote to pass -- currently Measure I stands at 52.79% of residents voting Yes and 47.21% voting No. If passed, the bond would help fund the first tier phase of the Facilities Master Plan by utilizing a tax rate of $49 per $100,000 of assessed value for Pleasanton properties. Tier 1 would prioritize funding for the gym and theater constructions at both Amador Valley and Foothill high schools as well as new classrooms at Vintage Hills Elementary.

District Attorney

In other local elections, one of the races that many Alameda County residents had their eyes on was the district attorney runoff race between civil rights attorney Pamela Price and current chief assistant deputy district attorney Terry Wiley.

The race was wide open this year with incumbent District Attorney Nancy O'Malley not seeking reelection in favor of retirement.

The two candidates squared off in a similarly close race during the primaries, which ended with Price in the lead with 43.23% of the vote among four on the ballot.

But Tuesday's election painted a different picture, with Wiley taking a slim 51.68% lead over Price, who had 48.32% of the vote.

Wiley, who has worked for the county DA's Office since 1990 and has served in several prosecuting units, is also currently the director of the DA office's new Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which is focused on tackling crime while making sure justice is carried out fairly.

Price, on the other hand, comes from a background of running her own civil rights litigation practice for roughly 30 years. She has advocated for criminal justice reform that focuses on alternatives to incarceration such as jail diversion and restorative justice programs for young offenders.

Sunol

In Sunol, residents voted to fill all three positions in the Sunol Glen Unified School District Board of Trustees race this November -- two full-term seats and one short-term as well as a school bond measure.

In the school board full four-year term race, the two candidates who are taking the majority of votes are Peter "Ted" Romo with 37.50% of the votes and current Sunol school board trustee Ryan Jergensen with 34.62%.

James Lowder, a business owner and four-year resident of Sunol, is the third candidate for the full-term seat -- he sits in third place with 27.88% of votes.

But for the short two-year seat, the race is neck and neck with Linda Hurley, a 39-year Sunol resident and former teacher and nurse taking a 50.70% lead over Chris Bobertz, a Sunol resident and information technology logistics manager, who has 49.30% of votes. As of Tuesday night, the race is being decided by just two votes with Hurley getting 72 votes and Bobertz getting 70 in the small district.

The margin for Sunol's Measure J, a $10.9 million general obligation bond, is also still too close to call, with the bond tracking just short of the 55% of votes needed to pass. As of Tuesday night, the measure has 51.66% of residents voting Yes while 48.34% voted No.

Livermore

With the first wave of votes rolling in on Election Night, Mony Nop stands narrowly at 50.84% in the Livermore mayoral race with John Marchand right behind him at 49.16%.

If Nop's lead holds, the city would see its first non-white mayor and the first mayor who was elected without ever having served on the City Council.

If Marchand pulls ahead and ultimately takes the win, this would mark his second time at the helm of the Livermore City Council. Marchand previously served as mayor from 2011 through 2020. After a two-year break, he was eligible to run for the position again in accordance with the city's established Municipal Code.

In the District 1 City Council race -- which includes the northwest portion of the city -- teacher and city planning commissioner Evan Branning leads with 56.84% of the votes while early childhood educator Carol Wahrer sits at 43.16%.

In the contest to represent the northeast section of Livermore in District 2, candidate Ben Barrientos has garnered 57.54% and opponent Mel Chiong currently trails with 42.46%.

In the crowded race for Livermore school board, the candidates currently in the lead for the three open seats are incumbents Emily Prusso (18.96%) and Craig Bueno (17.54%) along with newcomer and associate professor Steven Drouin (14.67%).

Chiropractor Deena Kaplanis sits in fourth place with 12.92% followed by incumbent Anne White with 10.10%, mother Alex Izarraraz at 9.87%, retired businessman John Kupski at 6.76%, college student Hayden Sidun at 4.91% and development director Kristina Mazaika at 4.27%.

Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District's $450 million facilities bond -- Measure G -- currently has 52.21% of No votes and 47.49% Yes, coming in just over seven percentage points shy of the 55%-plus Yes threshold needed for it to pass.

All three incumbents stand as the frontrunners to reclaim their seats on the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District Board of Directors. Philip Pierpont ended Election Night with 23.58% followed by David Furst at 22.44% and Maryalice Summers Faltings at 20.68%.

LARPD challengers Ruby Moppin (14.29%), Robert Sanchez (9.67%) and Corey Hahn (9.35%) trailed behind.

Measure P, the city's South Livermore sewer extension project, came out with 63.56% Yes votes and 36.44% No -- needing a simple majority to pass.

Measure D, a countywide measure dealing with land use in agriculture and the wine region, also needs a majority of votes to pass. Election Night totals indicate that the item is poised to pass, standing at 67.76% voted Yes and 32.24% voted No.

Dublin

The two at-large Dublin City Council seats were sought after by three candidates, current Vice Mayor Jean Josey, former planning commissioner Lynna Lan Tien Nguyen and Planning Commission alternate Kashef Qaadri.

Candidates Josey and Qaadri finished Election Night in first and second place, respectively. The vice mayor is currently tracking with 46.04% of the vote. Meanwhile, Qaadri has received 32.47% and Do 21.49%.

For the mayoral race, current incumbent Melissa Hernandez ran for reelection unopposed. In 2020 Hernandez made history by becoming the first Latina mayor in the Tri-Valley. She will serve an additional term as the mayor of Dublin through 2024.

Dublin Unified School District sought to fill three positions on its Board of Trustees this election, in Areas 2, 3 (shortened) and 5.

Incumbent Board President Dan Cherrier was opposed by former trustee Sameer Hakim for Area 5. Hakim is currently the vice chair of Dublin Parks and Community Services Commission. As of the latest results, Cherrier leads the race with 63.93% to Hakim's 36.07%.

Area 3, a shortened two-year term, is between appointed incumbent William Kuo and school volunteer John Wu. According to updated ballot numbers, Kuo stands with 62.27% of votes while Wu received 37.73%.

Kristin Speck, a longtime Dublin resident and school volunteer, ran unopposed for the Area 2 seat and did not appear on the ballot.

For Dublin San Ramon Services District Division 5, a shortened term, incumbent Arun Goel (65.86%) leads challenger Seema Badar (34.14%).

In DSRSD Division 2, incumbent Ann Marie Johnson holds a less-comfortable advantage over challenger Jim Brady, 55.75% to 44.25%.

State and federal representatives

The three incumbents for state and federal offices representing the Tri-Valley held strong leads on Election Night, while the Dublin councilmember hoping to join them sits well behind in his race.

For State Assembly District 16, which covers most of the Tri-Valley, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) received 64.3% of the vote, with her opponent Joe Rubay (R-Alamo) at 35.7%.

For the newly redrawn Assembly District 20, which includes parts of western Pleasanton and Dublin, union leader Liz Ortega (D-San Leandro) posted 58.6% of the vote against Dublin Councilmember Shawn Kumagai, also a Democrat, at 41.4%.

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore) controlled Election Night with 65.7% over opponent Alison Hayden (R-Hayward) at 34.3% for the new Congressional District 14, which includes the southern Tri-Valley.

U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) dominated Green Party challenger Michael Ernest Kerr 79.5% to 20.5% for Congressional District 10, which includes the northern Tri-Valley.

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