Few local surprises compared to rest of nation

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In a stunning upset, Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, defeated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to become the next President. Nationwide the Republicans held their majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

With slightly more than 480,000 ballots counted and about 260,000 ballots to be counted, Riverside County voters supported Clinton, 48.7 percent of the vote, and Trump received 46.7 percent.

Turnout was about 51 percent in the state as of Wednesday morning. Riverside County has counted ballots from about 47 percent of registered voters, but another 25 percent remain to be counted.

Statewide, Clinton demolished the national trends. She claimed 5.4 million votes or 61.4 percent and Trump collected 2.9 million or 33.3 percent.

In the Senate race between Democrats Kamala Harris, state Attorney General, and Loretta Sanchez, U.S. Representative, Harris won overwhelmingly and enjoyed a 54,000-vote lead in the county.

For Congressional District 36, which includes all of the Hill, incumbent Rep. Dr. Raul Ruiz, the Democrat, easily won re-election over challenger State Sen. Jeff Stone. Ruiz received more than 92,000 votes (60 percent) to best Stone’s 61,000 votes or 40 percent.

For the county’s 3rd District Supervisor’s seat, incumbent Democrat Chuck Washington maintained a dominating lead from the first results. He leads challenger Shellie Milne, Hemet Council woman, by nearly 17,000 votes, a 59 percent to 38 percent difference.

In the race to replace St. Assemblyman Brian Jones, Randy Voepel easily defeated fellow Republican Leo Hamel, by a two to one margin. While the Hill resides in this Assembly District 71, nearly 90 percent of voters are in San Diego County.

For the Hemet Unified School District’s three seats, incumbent Patrick Searl was re-elected, but Board President Jim Smith is last among the four candidates. The two new members will be Gene Hikel and Stacy Bailey.

On the Hill, the Idyllwild Fire Protection District’s effort to raise parcel fees was defeated. While 58 percent of voters chose “Yes,” IFPD needed two-thirds to support the increase. The total vote was 563 for the rate increase and 408 opposed.

Of the 17 propositions, the state’s voters approved all but five. The defeated Props were 53, requirement to gain voter approval for large revenue bonds, 60, the adult film condom requirement, 61, the state prescription drug purchase, 62, the repeal of the death penalty, and 65, shifting the tax revenue on plastic bags to environmental projects.

Riverside County voters generally made the same decisions with a few exceptions. In the county, voters supported Props 53 and 60. And they opposed Props 59, the multilingual education change, and 67, opposing the ban of plastic bags.

Controversial Prop 64, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana, was passed easily with 56 percent of the vote. Nearly 5 million votes were cast in favor of it and 3.9 million opposed it. In Riverside County, the vote was closer, 52 percent for and 48 percent against, but the majority also supported it.

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