Helen Tran is poised to make history as the first Asian American elected to serve as Mayor of the City of San Bernardino.
Helen Tran is poised to make history as the first Asian American elected to serve as Mayor of the City of San Bernardino. Credit: helentranformayor.com

S. E. Williams |

Voter turnout was low in both Inland Empire counties on Tuesday, November 8. Although this is not usual for a midterm election, it is possible this year’s winds and heavy rain may have added to the abysmal participation. 

By mid-day Wednesday, Registrar of Voters Offices in Riverside and San Bernardino counties reported voter participation rates of 15.70% and 18.40% respectively.

San Bernardino County

In the City of San Bernardino, Helen Tran seems destined to make history as the city’s first Asian American mayor. She led her opponent James Penman 61.79% to 37.91% Wednesday afternoon.

Leaders in other mayoral races across the county are unfolding as votes continue to be counted. In Colton, Frank J. Navarro leads the field with 68.48% of the vote; Aquanetta Warren seems certain to hold on as Mayor of Fontana, leading her opponents with 47.45% of the vote. William “Bill” Hussey leads the race  in Grand Terrace with 53.47%. In the City of Montclair Javier John Dutrey leads his opponents with 64.57% of the vote, Janet Jernigan leads in the City of Needles with 54.66% and Paul S. Leon holds the lead in Ontario with 53.99% of the vote.

Dr. Gwendolyn Dowdy-Rodgers leads in the race to represent Area D on the San Bernardino County Board of Education. (source: sbcusd.com)

In the race for San Bernardino County Supervisor District 2, candidate Jesse Armendarez leads his challenger with 54.54% of the ballots cast in his favor. And in the quest to represent Area D of the San Bernardino County Board of Education, Gwen Dowdy Rogers leads opponents with 58.53%.

Two of the three incumbent board members of the City of San Bernardino Unified School District are leading other challengers in a crowded field for the three seats on the ballot this year. Currently, incumbent Danny Tillman leads the field with 14.41%, followed by incumbent Abigail Medina with 14.11% and Mary Ellen Abilez Grande holds third position with 12.35% of the vote.

In a couple of closely watched city council races, Joe Baca leads Ed Scott 31.73% to 29.42% in the City of Rialto. In the City of Redlands’ District 1 incumbent Denise Davis appears certain to hold her seat with 50.90% of the vote.

In the historically troubled West Valley Water District, two board seats were on the ballot this year. Dan Jenkins leads in Division 2 with 45.73% of the vote and Kelvin Moore is well ahead of his challenger with 61.27% of voter casting ballots in his favor. 

San Bernardino County‘s Measure D seems certain to prevail with yes votes at 58.92% and Measure EE is succeeding with 51.30% of voters in favor.

Riverside County

Two key races in Riverside County this Midterm Election year, those of County District Attorney (DA) and County Sheriff were settled in the June primary election when incumbents DA Mike Hestrin and Sheriff Chad Bianco each received more than 50 per cent of the vote in their respective primary races, sparing them from the competition of a runoff election November 8.

Moreno Valley Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez is positioned to become Riverside County’s 5th District representative on the Board of Supervisors. (source: mayorgutierrez.com)

However, two closely watched races in Riverside County on Tuesday included the race for 5th District Supervisor where Moreno Valley Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez appears to be the victor with 54.23% of the vote. In the meantime, the other closely watched race, the contest to replace him as mayor of Moreno Valley shows candidate Ulises Cabrera leading his closest competitor Jaime Hurtado with 32.85% to 27.26% percent of the vote respectively.

Across Riverside County, at least four cities had tax measures on the ballot and three of them appear to have prevailed. Voters in the City of Corona voted yes on Measure G (64.65%) supporting a tax on commercial cannabis. 

Voters in the City of Hemet approved Measure H by 61.88% to continue a Transactions and Use tax. Voters in Cathedral approved Measure K with 55.10% of the vote to fund public services and finance the development of certain projects in the city. The only city tax measure that appears defeated by voters was in the City of Banning where Measure I sought a User Tax on electric energy use for park maintenance, improvement and general purposes. 66.61% of voters in the city said no to this measure.

Stephanie Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime champion for civil rights and social justice in all its forms, she is also an advocate for government transparency and committed to ferreting out and exposing government corruption. Over the years Stephanie has reported for other publications in the inland region and Los Angeles and received awards from the California News Publishers Association for her investigative reporting and Ethnic Media Services for her weekly column, Keeping it Real. She also served as a Health Journalism Fellow with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. Contact Stephanie with tips, comments. or concerns at myopinion@ievoice.com.