Local races bring few surprises

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Voters at Idyllwild’s Town Hall precinct lined up early to vote in Tuesday’s presidential election. Photo by JP Crumrine

Voters at Idyllwild’s Town Hall precinct lined up early to vote in the presidential election on Nov. 8. Photo by JP Crumrine

In a stunning upset at the national level, Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President in January. Nationwide the Republicans held their majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

In Riverside County, voters gave Clinton 49 percent of the vote, and Trump received 46.4 percent. Voters in the rest of the state were more strongly Clinton supporters. With more ballots to be counted, she has garnered more than 6.2 million votes, 61.4 percent; while Trump has pulled 3.4 million votes, which was 33.1 percent of the total.

The Riverside County Registrar of Voters Office announced on Friday, Nov. 11, that slightly more than 530,000 ballots have been counted and about 210,000 ballots remain to be counted. At this point, county turnout was about 52 percent and will be about 74 percent once all the ballots are counted. Statewide turnout was about 51.4 percent as of Sunday afternoon.

In the Senate race between Democrats Kamala Harris, state Attorney General, and Loretta Sanchez, U.S. Representative, Harris won overwhelmingly with about 63 percent of the vote. While her Riverside County percentage was 57 percent, she gained a 61,000-vote lead here.

For the 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 has more than 101,000 votes (60 percent) compared to Stone’s 65,800 votes or 39 percent.

In the race for the county’s 3rd District Supervisor’s seat, incumbent Chuck Washington, a Democrat, maintained a dominating lead from the first announced results Tuesday evening. He currently leads challenger Shellie Milne, Hemet Council woman, by nearly 19,000 votes, a 59 percent to 41 percent difference.

In the race to replace state 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. Both counties strongly supported Voepel since Hamel withdrew after the June primary.

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.

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