Sacramento CA primary election: Leaders in DA, sheriff races

Early results are in for Tuesday’s primary election in California, with several key city and county races in Sacramento taking shape.

Two of the county’s biggest races, for district attorney and sheriff, are outright elections between two candidates that will be settled in summer.

Sacramento will get a new top elected law enforcement leader and new top prosecutor as Sheriff Scott Jones opted to run for US Congress while District Attorney Anne Schubert entered the state’s attorney general race.

Other races, including for multiple Sacramento City Council seats, could advance to the November general election for the top two candidates, if neither receives more than 50% of the vote.

Official canvassing takes place between June 9 and July 7. The last day for vote-by-mail ballots, postmarked by election day, to be counted is June 14. Results are to be certified by counties and sent to the state by July 8.

Sacramento County spokeswoman Janna Haynes in a Wednesday morning update said the elections office still has some drop box ballots from Tuesday to process as well as mail-in ballots.

According to the county elections website, the next numbers update will come 4 pm Friday.

Turnout has been low, with 192,224 ballots returned to the county, Haynes said Wednesday. That represents 22% of registered voters. Of those, more than 126,000 were mailed in, more than 55,000 left at drop boxes and close to 11,000 cast at vote centers.

Here’s where local primary races stood as of Wednesday morning, with unofficial results last updated by the Sacramento County elections office at 12:08 am

SACRAMENTO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Prosecutors Thien Ho and Alana Mathews were competing to succeed Schubert as Sacramento County’s next district attorney.

Ho, most notable as a prosecutor for his prosecution of Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist Joseph James DeAngelo, led with 59% of the vote.

Mathews, who spent eight years in the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and has experience as an adjunct law professor, had the remaining 41%.

Whoever wins the seat will become the first person of color to serve as Sacramento County’s top prosecutor.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY SHERIFF

Elk Grove Assemblyman Jim Cooper led Undersheriff Jim Barnes in Sacramento County’s race for sheriff, as of early returns Wednesday morning.

Cooper had 55% of the vote while Barnes had pulled in 45%.

Cooper, who spent 30 years in the sheriff’s office before serving for eight years in the California Assembly, ran for sheriff in 2010 and lost to Jones.

Barnes, a 24-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was the outgoing sheriff’s choice to replace him.

Jones endorsed Barnes shortly after deciding not to seek a fourth term of sheriff and to instead run for California’s newly drawn Third District congressional seat.

SACRAMENTO CITY COUNCIL

Elections to fill three open seats on the eight-member Sacramento City Council are shaping as among the tightest local races, most likely to hit the ballot in November’s general election.

City Council candidates win their races outright if they earn more than 50% of the vote. Otherwise, the top two finishers advance to November’s ballot.

Longtime Natomas Unified School Board member Lisa Kaplan had 50.5% of the vote for District 1, which covers North Natomas. Realtor Alyssa Lozano had 26.7% of the vote, and local LGBTQ leader Nate Pelczar had 18.9%.

For District 3, the South Natomas seat, Karina Talamantes had 48.6% of the vote while Michael Lynch had 40.3% as of early Wednesday morning returns. Adrianne Gonzales had the remaining 11%.

Talamantes is the chief of staff for outgoing Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, who ran for a state Senate seat.

The tightest contest came in District 5, which includes Oak Park, Hollywood Park and parts of south Sacramento.

Caity Maple had 38.2% of the vote in District 5, followed by Tamiko Heim at 34.7%, Kimberly Sow at 17.6% and Chris Baker at 9.4%.

That means Maple and Heim are likely headed to a November runoff.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

Supervisor seats up for grabs in Sacramento County were District 2, which covers southern parts of the city of Sacramento as well as parts of south Sacramento County and Vineyard; and District 5, which includes Elk Grove, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova and unincorporated areas in the southeast portion of the county.

District 2 incumbent Patrick Kennedy maintained a major lead over challenger Duke Cooney. Kennedy secured 77% of the vote through early Wednesday morning, while Cooney had the remaining 23%.

The District 5 race, to replace outgoing Supervisor Don Nottoli who is retiring after 28 years, was closer. Elk Grove City Councilman Pat Hume led with 42% of the vote, followed by Jaclyn Moreno, director of the Cosumnes Community Services District, at 31%. Those two are likely headed to a runoff.

Steve Ly, the former mayor of Elk Grove, trailed with 19% of the District 5 vote and would need a serious boost to reach November’s ballot. Alex R. Joe had the remaining 8% of the vote.

District 1, which includes the northern half of the city of Sacramento, is also up for re-election in midterm years. Incumbent Phil Serna ran unopposed.

Key races in Placer, Yolo, El Dorado counties

In the race for Placer County sheriff, Undersheriff Wayne Woo led with 67% of the vote as of 11:46 pm update from the Placer County elections office. Brandon Bean, a former sheriff’s deputy and Roseville police officer, had 33%.

In Placer County’s Board of Supervisors race for District 2, current District 2 director Shanti Landon led in early returns with 44% of the vote, leading Roseville City Councilman Scott Alvord at 33% and Lincoln City Councilman Paul Joiner at 23%.

In Yolo County, incumbent Sheriff Tom Lopez had a substantial led over Tommy Hayes. With 70% of ballots returned, Lopez earned 73% of the vote compared to Hayes’ 27%.

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reiseg was also fending off his challenger, Cynthia Rodriguez. Reiseg had 61% of the vote and Rodriguez was at 39%.

Lucas Frerichs had a wide lead for the Yolo County Board of Supervisors seat for District 2, with 65% of the vote. Juliette Beck trailed at 35%.

Finally in El Dorado County, a tight race is underway for the District 5 seat on the Board of Supervisors, which stretches from Pollock Pines to South Lake Tahoe.

Brooke Laine, former mayor of South Lake Tahoe had 24.9% of the vote in early returns, leading Kenny Curtzwiler, at 24.5%, for the top spot. Jeffrey Spencer had 21.25% of the vote and Tamara Wallace 19% as the four candidates vie to appear on November’s general election ballot.

This story was originally published June 8, 2022 7:15 AM.

Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.

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