Denham was the overall leader in the district with 48.3 percent of the vote while Hernandez trailed with 28.7 percent. Condit held 15 percent of the vote, while Democrat Mike Barkley of Manteca held 5.6 percent, and Patterson’s independent candidate Troy McComak trailed the field with 2.3 percent. The top two move on to a runoff election in the fall for the seat.
Denham said Wednesday morning he was happy with the results and would continue campaigning hard.
“We had a strong showing last night,” Denham said. “We’ve got a few more months now to walk precincts, and we’ll have some more town halls.”
Hernandez — an astronaut originally from French Camp who resides in Modesto while his house is being built in Manteca — said his strategy was to reserve resources for a big battle in the fall.
“We basically ran it the way we planned,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we reserved our resources for November. We believed we had enough grassroots resources to overcome any threat (Condit) posed.”
Condit, who shunned his former Democrat ties and made no allies with the Republican Party during his independent run, said late Tuesday night he was proud of his campaign in defeat.
“The trend at this point is going against us, but it was a huge task to overcome the two parties from the start,” he said. “I had a ball. But let me say this: both major parties better pay attention to the people or a third party movement will come. It’s coming.”
Condit said no matter who the winner was in November, he wanted to see someone who paid attention to local issues.
“We hope whomever the winner is, they push the district first,” he said.
To that end Hernandez listed local jobs as one of his priorities when talking about his differences with Denham.
“There’s a clear contrast between me and my opponent,” he said. “I’m going to focus on protecting Social Security and Medicare and creating jobs in the district.”
Denham said he will focus his campaign and efforts on jobs and water storage — closely linking the two, as he said more water means more jobs for Central Valley agriculture. He also pointed to his Veterans Skills to Jobs Act, which would require their military credentials for skills such as truck driving or medical training to be accepted by private businesses when they return home from service. The bill just got the backing of President Barack Obama last week.
“We need to put our veterans back to work,” he said, noting the Central Valley has a lot of highly skilled job openings that veterans should qualify for but don’t because their credentials from the military do not transfer to the private sector.
“If you’ve already got the skills to do the job, you should be working,” he said.
21st Assembly race will feature Mobley, Gray
With all of the precincts in early Wednesday, June 6, Jack Mobley and Adam Gray had clinched spots in the runoff election in the fall for the 21st State Assembly seat.
Gray — one of four Democrats in the race — trailed Mobley, the lone GOP member, by more than 12.5 points.
Mobley led the way with 44.8 percent, followed by Gray at 32.3. Democrat Lesa Rasmussen checked in with 10.1 percent and former Los Banos Mayor Tommy Jones, also a Democrat, had 9.5 percent.
Robert Sellers, a Delhi construction contractor trailed everyone with 3.4 percent.
• Nick Rappley can be reached at 209-892-6187, ext 31, or firstname.lastname@example.org.