Ding takes lead in seesawing supes race

·4 min read

Jun. 22—The race for the top-two candidates in the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors race for the District 4 seat keeps seeing lead changes.

With two weeks left for the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters to certify election results, Woodbridge Crossing owner Steve Ding has jumped from third to first place, tallying 20.56% of the vote.

Linden resident and small business owner Steve Colangelo, who took an early lead when polls closed, has remained in second for the last week, collecting 20.07% of the vote.

Lodi City Councilman Doug Kuehne has returned to a third-place standing with 18.01% of the vote, while Lodi Unified School District teacher Nancy St. Clair remains fourth with 17.53%.

Linden resident and retired San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office deputy and corrections officer Paul Brennan has garnered 12.55%, while former Sheriff Steve Moore has 11.28%.

Kuehne had garnered 19.52% of the vote last week, while Colangelo and Ding had 19.3% and 18.75%, respectively.

The two candidates with the most votes by July 7 will go head-to-head in a Nov. 7 runoff.

Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, and District 3 county supervisor Tom Patti have maintained their standings for the U.S. Congress District 9 seat with 37.8% and 28.6%, respectively.

Lodi resident Jim Shoemaker remains in third with 14.1% of the vote. Harder and Patti will most likely be the two to face off on Nov. 7.

In addition, San Joaquin County deputy district attorney and Lodi Unified board of education member Ron Freitas has maintained his lead over Tori Verber Salazar in the race for her seat.

Freitas has tallied 54.33% while Salazar has garnered 45.67%.

Updated results were posted by 9 p.m. Tuesday, hours after Assistant ROV Olivia Hale informed the board of supervisors at its meeting that 92,314 ballots — 84% of those collected — had been tabulated.

Another 16,602 unprocessed ballots remain, including vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots; conditional voter registration provisional ballots, and unprocessed ballots that are damaged, need to be remade, or require further review.

"With a projected voter turnout of 28 percent, this is expected to be the lowest turnout in San Joaquin County history," Hale told supervisors Tuesday morning. "Much of that has to do with voter fatigue from the gubernatorial recall election and the nature of mid-term elections where participation is frequently lower than in general or presidential elections."

Hale told the board that only 6,731 people, or 1.75% of the county's registered voters, went to a polling place to cast ballots.

She said the ROV's office received 101,922 vote-by-mail ballots, including 59,468 — or 58% of them — during the week of the election.

In addition, Hale said approximately 30% of vote-by-mail ballots, or roughly 90,000 individual cards, required duplication because at least one barcode was printed blurry and did not scan properly.

This required extra staff to duplicate the blurry ballots and tabulate them using a two-person authentication process which delayed the time the ROV's office could report updated election results, she said.

"With the tremendous response from San Joaquin County Department staff and community members who stepped in to assist in the ballot duplication and tabulation process, we are caught up and well on our way to certifying the election before the statutory deadline of July 7," she said. "I want to thank everyone who has worked around the clock to ensure the transparency and integrity of this election, especially as we are still coping with the tragic loss of ROV Heather Ditty."

According to the California Secretary of State's Office, voter turnout in San Joaquin County is currently 24%.

The county's voter turnout is one of the lowest in the state, but is greater than results in Lake, Kern, Imperial, Merced and San Bernadino counties.

Lake County has the lowest voter turnout at 12%, according to the Secretary of State.

The San Joaquin County ROV will update results by 9 p.m. June 28 and July 5 online at www.sjgov.org/department/rov.