Update: McCord, Lustgarten 20 apart
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Nov 07, 2012 | 3936 views | 6 6 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mayor Luis Molina watches national election results from his home Tuesday, Nov. 6, during the same evening he was reelected for his second mayoral term.--Photo by Nick Borrell/For the Patterson Irrigator
Mayor Luis Molina watches national election results from his home Tuesday, Nov. 6, during the same evening he was reelected for his second mayoral term.--Photo by Nick Borrell/For the Patterson Irrigator
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Dennis McCord, center, checks out election results on a computer at his home Tuesday, Nov. 6. As of midnight, McCord was the leading candidate in a race for two seats, with Councilman Dominic Farinha and candidate Sheree Lustgarten trailing closely behind.--Photo by Nick Borrell/For the Patterson Irrigator
Dennis McCord, center, checks out election results on a computer at his home Tuesday, Nov. 6. As of midnight, McCord was the leading candidate in a race for two seats, with Councilman Dominic Farinha and candidate Sheree Lustgarten trailing closely behind.--Photo by Nick Borrell/For the Patterson Irrigator
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From left, City Council candidate Sheree Lustgarten and her husband Jeff speak with Sheree Lustgarten's son, Brandon Surico, after he voted at the polling place inside the Patterson Joint Unified School District office on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Lustgarten, Councilman Dominic Farinha and candidate Dennis McCord were the top candidates as of midnight Wednesday, jockeying for two council seats. --Photo by Nick Borrell/For the Patterson Irrigator
From left, City Council candidate Sheree Lustgarten and her husband Jeff speak with Sheree Lustgarten's son, Brandon Surico, after he voted at the polling place inside the Patterson Joint Unified School District office on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Lustgarten, Councilman Dominic Farinha and candidate Dennis McCord were the top candidates as of midnight Wednesday, jockeying for two council seats. --Photo by Nick Borrell/For the Patterson Irrigator
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Councilman Dominic Farinha and council candidate Dennis McCord led a hotly contested three-way race for two council seats following initial voting returns from the election Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Candidate Sheree Lustgarten trailed closely behind as provisional ballots continued to be verified and counted Wednesday, Nov. 7.

Provisional ballots are issued to those who vote in the wrong polling place or are used when the voter’s identification is in question.

Farinha had 1,252 votes and McCord was on his heels with 1,178 while Lustgarten checked in with 1,158 votes with all of the city’s precincts reporting just before

2 a.m. Wednesday.

Stanislaus County Clerk-Recorder Lee Lundrigan said hundreds of provisional ballots from different precincts in Stanislaus County were being sorted through on Wednesday morning.

“It’s hard to tell how many there are for each precinct until they are sorted,” she said, adding that the verification process and counting of those ballots was expected to continue into late next week.

“One county precinct had more than 200 provisional ballots, while another had around 20,” Lundrigan said. “We have no way of knowing which ones are from Patterson at this point.”

Poll worker Vivian Ratliff said about 100 provisional ballots were collected just at the Las Palmas Senior Housing Complex polling place.

Farinha said Wednesday that he was cautiously optimistic. He said he was not claiming victory, but he was encouraged.

“If the trend continues, I’m very excited,” he said. “I’m happy to continue to promote Patterson and have more time to work on what we’d like to accomplish.”

Farinha said his main concerns would be to work on jobs — attracting different types of jobs for different types of workers — and public safety. He also noted downtown park improvements as a priority.

McCord laid out what he saw as priorities for the council, including preparing for planned business growth and laying infrastructure for new home construction.

“With 2,300 jobs coming in the next 18 months, we need to find places for people to live,” he said on Monday. “We also need to get a study done to find out how much an independent police department would cost, so we can get competitive bids from the sheriff’s office for more officers.”

Mayor Luis Molina appeared well on his way to securing a second term, with a commanding 75 percent to 25 percent lead over mayoral candidate Troy McComak. Molina had collected 2,601 votes, while McComak had 868.

McComak was left at a loss.

“I don’t really know what I’m going to do now,” he said from his home late Tuesday, Nov. 6. “I guess I’ll have to get a real job. That will be the first thing I’ll do. I’ve been out looking and applying, but it’s rough out there.”

Molina continues to look toward the future.

“We need to build on what we’ve done so far,” Molina said. “We need to continue building relationships and working on what I call my three pillars — public safety, support for our youth and jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Council candidate Tony Camacho, who was in fourth place with 939 votes, said he was disappointed by the outcome. Councilwoman Annette Smith trailed behind Camacho with 794 votes, while council candidate Carlos Gustavo Fierros was in sixth place with 562 votes.

Camacho, who led fundraising for the council campaign with more than $5,000, mostly from labor unions, said it might not be his last time running for office.

“I thought we would do better tonight — at least third place,” Camacho said. “It was a learning experience. I wouldn’t rule out another run. Right now, I wouldn’t say yes or no.”

Councilwoman Annette Smith wished luck to the potential winners.

“I hope the results stay the same. I think both (Farinha and McCord) will serve the council and the city very well,” she said. “I wish them both well. They’ll do good things.”

Fierros also wished the winners well and said he hoped they would follow their campaign promises.

“It’s what the people wanted,” he said, adding that he was thankful for his family and for the community members who voted for him.

• Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

Comments
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Sheree4Patterson
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November 07, 2012
For clarification purposes, there are more than just provisional ballots which remain to be counted. There are many vote by mail (VBM) ballots which have not yet been counted. The only VBM ballots which have been counted so far are those which were received and processed as of last week.

Please see the press release below from Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan:

"The Elections Office has determined that approximately 36,000 to 38,000 countywide VBM ballots remain to be processed. These remaining VBM ballots were received on Election Day at the County's 167 polling sites and through U.S. Mail. Processing VBM ballots will include organizing trays of ballots, scanning each ballot to credit voters with casting a ballot, checking the signature on each envelope against the signature located on each voter's original affidavit of registration. Following this signature verification, each of the VBM ballot envelopes must be sorted into one of 221 precincts in which they would have voted had they not been voted by mail.

"Additional tasks include opening, flattening and processing each of the VBM ballots through the high speed ballot scanning equipment to tabulate these remaining ballots. It is not yet determined if this process will be completed this week or the beginning of next week.

"In addition more than 11,000 provisional ballots and hundred of miscellaneous ballots require examination as well. This process will begin following the scanning and uploading of voter signatures located on the rosters from the 167 polling sites. These signatures and those on the vote by mail ballots must be reviewed to determine who has voted prior to processing the provisional ballots."

Lundrigan goes on to state that the county has up until December 4 to certify the final results of the election. This will take some time to sort out, and it's important that everyone understand the process the county will be going through to make sure everyone's vote is counted.

MelizaReyesCantu
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November 07, 2012
Congradulation on your second term Mayor Molina. The people of Patterson made a fantastic choice. Heads up to you and your supporters.
Sheree4Patterson
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November 07, 2012
The beauty of Democracy is that every vote counts and must be counted for our voices to be heard. I am glad to see that the Irrigator has reported that the city council race is still too close to call, because there are many votes which still need to be counted. In addition to the provisional ballots (one polling place alone had more than 100 provisional ballots cast), there could be hundreds of absentee ballots mailed in at the last minute or dropped off at polling places which have not yet been tallied. County Registrar/Recorder Lee Lundigren reported that thousands of absentee ballots were picked up at post offices throughout the county yesterday. As of this afternoon, there's no way of knowing how many of those ballots came from Patterson.

Given the closeness of this race, it is far too early for any candidates to be making concessions or victory speeches. It is more important that democracy be allowed to take its course and that everyone's voice is heard before any calls are made. I want to thank all of my supporters, including those whose votes have yet to be counted. Don't be disappointed yet because this is not over.

Patterson2010
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November 07, 2012
Thanks for the reply, but it doesn't work that way. Patterson has more than enough housing and there are plenty of people already in town who need work. There are too many people in town who are commuting and the goal should be to get less of those people commuting. More housing and increasing the population is not the answer. All you are doing is increasing the demand on public services ans straining local resources. Housing is not the answer
Patterson2010
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November 07, 2012
Memo to McCord

Unemployment is close to 18%. Not everyone who is going to work in Patterson is going to want or need to live in Patterson. Patterson doesn't need more houses and building more houses is not the answer. It only exaserbates the problem.
DennisMcCord
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November 07, 2012
For Patterson2012:

18% unemployment is Patterson is how many jobs?

The 2,300 jobs does not include support jobs. When you look at the numbers, we don't have the housing to support the current jobs not to include the approved jobs in the business parks.

I think it is important for Patterson to start looking ahead instead of in the rear view mirror.



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