By David M. Greenwald
The last totals came in at 11:42 pm, but it looks like there are more precincts to report and we think there have to be a lot more votes because the vote total is extremely low. Countywide, the presidential race garnered 55,000 or so votes which was about 20,000 under those cast in 2016 and, given that in most places of the country the turnout was near record numbers, it is possible there are another 30,000 votes to be counted countywide, we have not gotten an official announcement on that yet.
Given what we saw back in March where the school parcel tax went from trailing to eventually passing, I am more likely to view these as preliminary results than I would have been in previous years.
City Council – District 2
Will Arnold texted, “It’s too early to be discussing outcomes. Our team ran a great race and I’m deeply honored by all of the incredible support.”
Most of the night, we saw the perils of relying on polling to predict outcomes nationally, but not having polling means you are reading tea leaves locally. We figured that it would be hard to defeat a sitting incumbent with deep roots in the community who had done little to anger voters.
We thought—along with a lot of people we talked to—that Colin Walsh was making inroads, although I could not see tangible signs of it other than a healthy dose of letters to the editor. Dillan Horton actually is running second and Walsh third. Together they received less than half the vote, which was one of the scenarios we thought might happen—incumbent versus challenger where the two challengers were competing for votes with each other and the incumbent ended up with a majority.
Again, since we don’t know how many votes remain, I would caution this as preliminary results and observations.
City Council – District 3
This was always going to be hard for Larry Guenther, and he definitely worked hard, but Lucas Frerichs really had few weaknesses—a solid record, a tireless public servant, and as expected it appears that he has nearly doubled over his opponent.
City Council – District 5
This is the one we got wrong locally—at least so far. It’s a 455 vote lead for Josh Chapman over Rochelle Swanson. That’s pretty sizable, given the low vote totals. Something to keep in mind is that is that the total number of votes was just 3449. So how many more are there? Still, it would probably take a huge reverse split to reverse the result here—but you never know.
Measure B – DISC
Right now this is going down by 850 votes. The difficult thing is to know how many more votes there are and, citywide, only 19,898 were cast. That seems low. In 2016, it was more like 32,000 votes cast.
Still, the votes ended up in the direction we sensed things were going—a narrow defeat for the measure. This was definitely not a repeat of 2005 and 2009 where the Measure J projects were blown out, but at this point at least, it is hard to imagine the project doing what Nishi did and coming back two years later. But maybe it does.
When I spoke to Dan Ramos last night, he felt there were a lot of votes to be counted and wasn’t ready to concede just yet.
Measure D – Measure J Renewal
We definitely called this one right—I didn’t think this would be close and consistently stated that I believed the measure would be renewed with more than 70 percent of the vote. As it turns out, it passed by an even larger margin, 83-17. It would have been nice to have had more discussion about the measure, but, in the end, the community has largely spoken on this and I don’t think it is that fruitful to bring it back in five years.
Yolo County Supervisor – District 5
Honestly, this one probably warrants a lot more analysis and discussion. The bottom line is that Jim Provenza wins easily in a race that in March looked anything but. What happened? First of all, when Linda Deos decided to run in this race I never thought that Jim Provenza was vulnerable. But when she and David Abramson ran against Provenza in the winter and spring, it was just a 10-point spread and Provenza was held under 50 percent.
So it looked like Deos would have a reasonable chance. But the political landscape seems to have shifted several times. When the world shut down, the county took on a much more prominent role and it played into Provenza’s strengths. However, the landscape shifted in May and June and it looked like social justice issues would prevail and that would play to Deos. However, that has seemingly died down and the landscape shifted back toward health issues like COVID.
I don’t know if COVID and the presidential race sucked all of the oxygen out of the room or not, but the supervisor’s race just seemed invisible. Jim Provenza remained active and vigil, but that played to his advantage as well. The result, if it holds up—which I see no reason why it wouldn’t—bears that out with a 15-point spread and a nearly 2000-vote advantage.
—David M. Greenwald reporting
Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link: