Late-arriving ballots deliver lead changes in Valley election results

Ballots from last week’s primary election continue to trickle into county elections offices as a result of California’s vote-by-mail system, shaking up results in some key races.

The following is the latest update in the close races from around the Central Valley:

13th Congressional District

Asm. Adam Gray (D–Merced) led the pack on election night for the open Central Valley district.

But over a week later, Modesto nursery owner John Duarte, a Republican, has taken a significant lead in first place.

Duarte has racked up 34.1 percent of the vote, while Gray is sitting at 30.7 percent. Both candidates are in line to face off in November.

22nd Congressional District

While Republican Chris Mathys, with the help of Washington Democrats, sought to give a scare to Rep. David Valadao, the Hanford dairyman is still firmly in second place with 26.3 percent of the vote compared to Mathys at 22.5 percent.

Asm. Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield) remains in first place at 44 percent. 

Barring a major shift with late ballot returns, Salas and Valadao will head to the November election. 

4th State Senate District

The GOP dominated district is still headed for Democrat representation in November. 

Republican infighting split the GOP vote three ways between former Rep. George Radanovich, Jeff McKay and Steven Bailey on election night. 

As of the latest update, Radanovich leads the way with 17.3 percent of the vote. 

But as it sat on election night, Radanovich still lacks enough support to crack the top two and advance to November. 

Democrats Tim Robertson and Marie Alvarado-Gil posted 21.8 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively, keeping the GOP on the outs. 

Madera Co. Supervisor, District 1

The fight for the first district on the Madera County Board of Supervisors has proven to be one of the tightest in the Valley.

On election night, Golden Valley Unified School Trustee Andy Wheeler led Fresno police officer Jordan Wamhoff by nearly three percent, while realtor Michelle Stephens was down by almost 10 points.

But the race has grown significantly tighter over the past week as ballots continued to come in, and it appeared that Wamhoff was on-pace to overtake Wheeler.

That has happened with the latest update by a margin of three votes. Wamhoff now leads with 34.26 percent of the vote compared to Wheeler’s 34.2 percent.

Stephens saw the greatest surge of support with late-arriving ballots, driving her support up to 31.54 percent.

However, with less than 170 ballots left to be counted it still looks like Wamhoff and Wheeler will advance to a November run-off.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.