BERRYHILL TO YIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT SEAT: Bill Berryhill will step down from the Ceres Unified School District board of trustees to concentrate on his campaign to replace Greg Aghazarian as the 26th District assemblyman. The May 15 board meeting will be his last; the board will decide at its meeting tonight how to fill his vacancy. It either can appoint someone or hold an election. Berryhill, 50, is a wine-grape and walnut farmer with land in Stockton, Clements and Ceres, where he and his family live. Aghazarian is termed out; Berryhill is running as a Republican.
MORSE II WON'T CHALLENGE DENHAM: Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II said this week he won't challenge state Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Merced, in the recall election. Morse cited a full workload in his current position as a factor in his decision. He ran for Assembly in 1996 and lost to Dennis Cardoza. He also considered a run for state Senate in 2002. With the election set for June 3, candidates who want to replace Denham must return their paperwork and signatures needed to qualify for the ballot by Saturday. The ballot will be certified Wednesday. No candidates have declared their intent to run for Denham's seat, though various names have been floated, including Morse and Monterey County Supervisor and former Assemblyman Simon Salinas. The recall was launched by state Senate Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, in July because of Denham's position on last summer's state budget.
DENHAM, PART II: Meanwhile, Denham's supporters are calling for an investigation into whether the political workers who gathered signatures to put his recall on the ballot may have run afoul of elections law. An anti-recall group affiliated with Denham announced Wednesday that some of the signature gatherers' addresses appear to make them residents of districts other than Denham's 12th Senate District. That would violate state law that says people circulating a recall petition within a particular district must be registered voters within that district. The group, Friends of Jeff Denham Against the Recall, asked that local law enforcement and elections officials investigate their claims.
REPUBLICANS TO MEET: The Republican Party of Stanislaus County Central Committee, the official representative of the California Republican Party in Stanislaus County, will meet Monday, at 6 p.m. at the Eichel Building, 118 W. Orangeburg Ave., Modesto. Republican candidates on the June ballot seeking the committee's endorsement will be present. Also, Dana Ferreira, district representative for state Sen. Jeff Denham and John Franklin, recall campaign manager, will update the committee on the senator's campaign to defeat the recall. A hosted reception starts at 6 p.m., the meeting at 6:30 p.m. and endorsement interviews at 7 p.m.
The public is invited.
LOBBYIST TO SPEAK: Michelle P. Connor, legislative advocate and lobbyist for the California Federation of Republican Women, is the speaker at the Tuesday meeting of Modesto Republican Women Federated at 11:30 a.m. at The Seasons, 945 McHenry Ave., Modesto. Lunch is at noon. Connor will talk about how the federation promotes its legislative agenda in Sacramento and analyzes legislation. For reservation or additional information, call 567-3399.
BASEBALL AND POLITICS: Assembly candidate Taylor White will mix baseball and politics with a fund-raiser April 10 at the Modesto Nuts game. White, a Democrat running for the 25th Assembly District seat against incumbent Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, will host a $25 fund-raiser at 5:45 p.m. That price includes an upper-box ticket, all-you-can-eat barbecue and five raffle tickets. The Nuts game follows at 7:05 p.m. To reserve fund-raiser tickets, call 869-5609 by Friday. They also can be purchased online at www.actblue.com or by sending a $25 check payable to Taylor White for Assembly to P.O. Box 577907, Modesto 95357.
Have comments about or contributions for Election Connection? Send them to Election Connection, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. It appears weekly on Thursdays. Deadline for publication is 6 p.m. Tuesday. Endorsements, yard signs and precinct walk announcements will not be published.