By Deb Murphy
The 2018 mid-term elections are finally over. We’ll leave assumptions and analysis of the national results to cable news, primarily to stay out of trouble.
On a local level, the most surprising result was the apparent defeat of Bishop City Councilmember Joe Pecsi, according to the Inyo County’s fourth semi-official report at 11 p.m. Tuesday. Incumbent Karen Schwartz lead with 498 votes followed by challenger Stephen Muchovej with 484 and Pecsi trailing at 347.
Chris Costello beat out Howard Wu, 426 to 289 and will hold onto his seat to complete a two-year term.
With all the precincts reporting, but still identified as semi-official results, here are the rest of the local Inyo elections.
The incumbents, Taylor Ludwick, looks to keep his seat on the Bishop Unified School District board with Virginia Figueroa and Claudia Moya-Tanner leading the rest of the candidates. Carrol Hambleton and Marilyn Mann, the incumbent, took the top two spots for the Big Pine Unified School District. Two new members of the Owens Valley Unified School District, Allie Whisler and Joey Peterson will join Keith Leon on the board.
In Mono County, with just less than half the votes tallied, Joanne Hunt and Yuri Parisky are leading in the election for seats on the Southern Mono Healthcare District board. Robert Creasy and Dennis Domaille are leading in the race for a 4-year term on the Mammoth Community Water District board with Gary Thompson ahead in the run for a 2-year term.
In many of the state-wide races, Inyo and Mono balanced each other out. Inyo went for John Cox for governor; Mono backed Gavin Newsom. With 49-percent of the state vote in, Newsom held a double-digit lead. Congressman Paul Cook beat challenger Tim Donnelly across the board.
Inyo, Mono and the state all backed Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor over Ed Hernandez. Alex Padilla took Mono and the state for Secretary of State; Inyo went with Republican Mark Meuser. The same split put Xavier Becerra back in the Attorney General spot. Both counties went with Kevin DeLeon, but Dianne Feinstein held her Senate seat.
Inyo and the state backed Republican Andreas Borgeas for the 8th District State Senate seat with Mono hanging with Paulina Miranda. Devin Mathis held his 26th District Assembly seat with Inyo support. Mono tried to put Carla Neal in the 5th District Assembly seat but Republican Frank Bigelow kept it with a 20-point spread.
The most impactful propositions were a mixed bag. The two housing bonds won but Prop. 3 with funding for water projects, including monies for implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act plans lost. We’ll all have to continue paying extra in state taxes at the pump, but we’ll also see a continuation of infrastructure improvements.