Supervisor Terry Withrow was leading in Tuesday’s primary election as he seeks another term on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors but faced a challenge from Modesto Councilman Tony Madrigal.
In the other race for a seat on the board, Republican state Sen. Tom Berryhill, who is being termed out of office, was leading Frank Damrell III, a staff member for Democratic state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani of Stockton.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Withrow had 44 percent of the vote compared with 34 percent for Madrigal and 22 percent for Salida advocate Katherine Borges in the Board of Supervisor’s District 3 race. The district spans west and northwest Modesto, Wood Colony and Salida.
In the District 4 race, Berryhill had 43 percent of the vote, Damrell had 33 percent and former Modesto Councilwoman Janice Keating had 24 percent. The district includes Del Rio, much of Modesto and a small part of Ceres. District 4 Supervisor Dick Monteith did not run for re-election.
The two candidates with the most votes in each race advance to a December runoff election unless a candidate gets more than 50 percent of Tuesday’s vote.
These results were based on the county election office’s count of 47,651 ballots. More than 97,000 ballots were cast in the June 2016 primary election. It was roughly 8,000 fewer voters who participated in 2014, the last non-Presidential election year primary.
Withrow is running for his third term. He is a certified public accountant and farmer and has been been a strong advocate of protecting farmland. He also has said one of the primary reasons he is running is to continue his work on Focus on Prevention, which he started with former county CEO Stan Risen. The county launched the initiative three years ago to deal with homelessness.
Withrow could not be reached for comment but said earlier Tuesday that he might be in an area with poor cell-phone reception.
Madrigal was elected to his second and final term to the City Council in November. He has said he is running to “bring a new voice to the county Board of Supervisors for the people of our district. We need a county supervisor that truly understands and has lived the real life experiences and struggles of District 3.”
He said Tuesday night it was too early to tell whether the early returns would hold up but he remained optimistic. “I’m humbled by the support I’ve received by the voters,” he said, “and I’m awaiting the outcome of the election.”
Berryhill said while it was still early he expected the results to hold up and that he would face Damrell in November. “It’s looking that way,” he said.
Berryhill, who was first elected to the Legislature in 2006, said he believes voters trust him based on his record in the Legislature, which he said includes defending the region’s farmers and water.
Damrell could not be reached for comment.
The Board of Supervisors is a nonpartisan office but the five incumbents are Republicans. Damrell and Madrigal are Democrats, and some local Democrats hope that the election of one or both of them could change the board’s priorities.