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Griffiths in; Cash and Cervantes out

June 12, 2012

With the final results in from Tuesday’s Primary Election, Bishop City Councilman Jeff Griffiths has been declared the winner in the District 2 Inyo County Supervisor race, having garnered 53.04 percent of the vote and avoiding a runoff in the November General Election. Photo at left by Darcy Ellis

A final tally of Tuesday’s votes shows two out of three incumbent county supervisors have been unseated and the third is headed to a runoff election in November.
After verifying and tallying all but 70 outstanding provisional ballots, the Inyo County Elections Department released a final count late Thursday night that reveals essentially the same results as those reported immediately after the June 5 Presidential Primary.
Jeff Griffiths earned a majority of the votes, unseating eight-year incumbent Susan Cash. In the Fifth District, challengers Matt Kingsley and Jim Gentry were the top two vote-getters, and will both be appearing on the November ballot and in the Fourth District, incumbent Marty Fortney will be running against challenger Mark Tillemans.
In the race for Second District Supervisor, Griffiths tallied 53.04 percent of the vote, beating out Cash and fellow challenger Russ Aldridge.
“I’m humbled by the support I’ve received from the community,” Griffiths said. “I appreciate all the help, support and kind words I received from the community.”
Griffiths also said that he would like to thank Cash and Aldridge for “a clean, fair campaign and I look forward to working for the people of Inyo.”
Looking to the future, Griffiths said he plans to focus on meeting with county department heads and staff members “so I can hit the ground running” in January.
Cash said, if he wishes, she would be available to meet with Griffiths to help fill him in on some county activities so he can enter office at the beginning of next year fully prepared for the task of serving as supervisor.
“I would like to thank the people who have supported me these past eight years,” Cash said, adding that she enjoyed her time serving the citizens of Inyo County.
Races for the Fourth and Fifth district supervisorial seats will both be heading to a runoff in November, with none of the candidates garnering the 50-plus-one percent required for an outright win in the Primary.
In the Fourth District, incumbent Fortney came out with a healthy lead, winning 39.50 percent of the vote, with challenger Tillemans coming in second with 32.19 percent of the vote.
Neither Tillemans nor Fortney returned phone calls seeking comment Friday.
In the Fifth District, incumbent Richard Cervantes is out of the running, having received only 20.68 percent of the vote.
Heading into the November General Election, challenger Kingsley is the front-runner, having received 46.65 percent of the vote. Fellow challenger Jim Gentry will be on the ballot next to Kingsley, as he received 32.67 percent of the vote.
None of the three Fifth District candidates returned phone calls seeking comment Friday.
In the race for the Inyo County Board of Education Trustee Area 2, incumbent Lynn Cooper was able to avoid a runoff in November by generating 60.91 percent of the votes.
“I’m really happy that I’ve won,” Cooper said. “I’ve enjoyed being on the school board and look forward to continuing my work there.”
Cooper was first appointed to the school board to fill a vacancy, and this was her first election cycle. She said she feels the voters voiced their approval of her past service when they cast their votes Tuesday.
“I really appreciate all the support,” she said.
For 8th Congressional District, which includes all of Inyo County and portions of Kern and San Bernardino counties, Inyo voters favored Jackie Conaway, who received 23.39 percent of the votes.
Districtwide, Republican candidates Paul Cook and Greg Imus took first and second place in the race with the former earning 15.4 percent of the vote and the latter taking 15.3 percent of the vote.
In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Dianne Feinstein was the top vote-getter, receiving 33.69 percent of the ballots cast.
Statewide, Feinstein had a commanding victory, taking 49.3 percent of the votes in a race that included 24 candidates.
And in the contest for the 26th Assembly District, local voters favored Connie Conway, who received 66.67 percent of the votes.
Those numbers reflect districtwide results, where Conway had 71.8 percent of the votes cast in her favor and her opponent, Jonathon Louis Sosa, had 28.2 percent.
Inyo County Clerk Recorder Kammi Foote said 53 percent of the total registered voters in Inyo County turned out for the election Tuesday.
“Fifty three percent is actually a low turn-out for Inyo County, which usually has one of the highest turn-outs in the state for primary elections,” Foote said, adding that there are news reports from across the state coming in suggesting that the low turn-out can be attributed to the low number of ballot initiatives (two) and a perception that the presidential primaries had already been determined through elections in other states.
Despite that perception, voters can guarantee they were heard in the five local elections and three races for state office.
Foote said there were no problems on election day, thanks to the dedicated help of a “fleet” of volunteer poll workers and ballot counters.
“We couldn’t run an election without all the poll workers who volunteer,” Foote said. “They do a wonderful job.”
For a full look at election results, see story on page A-5.

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