Madera County’s semiofficial election tally looked much like an earlier absentee vote count showing incumbents fending off rivals, president-elect Donald Trump besting Hillary Clinton, and a sometimes warier response to propositions than the state at-large.
Only 60.8 percent of the county’s 58,128 registered voters took part in this year’s presidential election. That amounts to 22.8 percent of the county’s total population as estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau, though most residents are either not registered to vote or ineligible.
A smaller percentage of local voters supported Trump this year (55.2 percent) than had backed past Republican presidential candidates in 2000-2012. Clinton, in contrast, fared worse locally (38.1 percent) than President Obama had but better than other recent Democratic candidates. Third-party candidates claimed 6.6 percent of county votes.
Like California in general, Madera County favored Attorney General Kamala Harris, Democrat, over Loretta Sanchez for U.S. senator. While locals preferred farmer Johnny Tacherra over U.S. Rep. Jim Costa, D-Dist. 16, the longtime congressman shrugged off the challenge.
Locals embraced a half cent sales tax to fund vital services (Measure K) in a landslide vote of 80.1 percent in favor versus 19.9 percent opposed.
About half of the time, county votes on state propositions clashed with those elsewhere in the state.
While Madera County rejected Prop. 51, the state will likely pass the school bond proposal for K-12 and community college facilities. The county barely approved Prop. 53, which would require voter okay of state revenue bonds, yet the state thus far has narrowly refused it. Locals said no to higher cigarette taxes, but the rest of the state said yes to Prop. 56.
Madera County voters decided against increasing parole chances and having judges decide whether to try juveniles as adults, but the state voted yes on Prop. 57. Locals didn’t want to advise the legislature to fight corporate political spending, but a slim majority of the state welcomed Prop. 59. County voters said nay to restrictions on firearm and ammunition sales, but the state said aye to Prop. 63.
Local voters turned their backs on legalizing marijuana, but the state gave Prop. 64 a nod. Two-thirds of Madera County voters didn’t want to see a ban on single-use plastic bags, but a tight majority of others in the state did, passing Prop. 67.
On all other proposals, Madera County seems to have shared the opinions of the other 57 counties of the state, which likely will pass Prop. 52 (Medi-Cal hospital fee program), 54 (legislative procedure requirements), 55 (tax extension for education and healthcare), and 58 (multilingual education). Expected to fail are Prop. 60 (adult film requirements), 61 (prescription drug prices), 62 (death penalty repeal), and 65 (carryout bag charges). The outcome is unclear for Prop. 66 (death penalty reform) and possibly 53.
Madera County voters picked U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Dist. 4, over Robert Derlet, Assemblyman Frank Bigelow over Robert Carabas, Andy Wheeler over Warren Parr for Golden Valley School District trustee, Madera Unified School District trustees Ray Seibert and Ricardo “Ric” Arredondo over district attorney crime investigator Luis Carrillo and former trustee Lynn Cogdill, Julie Greenwood over Ron Bucheger for Bass Lake school trustee, City Councilman Jose Rodriguez over county planning commissioner Jim Da Silva, and Director Carl Janzen, of Madera Irrigation District, over MID Chief of Operations John Bese for Division 5.
Madera Mayor-elect Andy Medellin and city councilmen Derek Orlando Robinson and Donald E. Holley ran unopposed. Medellin said he planned to devote this weekend to family time.
Carrillo congratulated Seibert on his re-election as MUSD school trustee, thanked his family and supporters, and said he “will continue to work to ensure that our children receive the education they deserve.”
Bese praised the long dedication of Janzen.