Local Elections

Incumbents win in West Sac, capital suburbs

West Sacramento voters returned incumbents to City Hall by overwhelming numbers as Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and council members Mark Johannessen and Chris Ledesma sailed toward re-election in separate races.

Cabaldon, 48, trounced newspaper publisher and security firm owner Narinder Pal Singh Hundal, 59, drawing nearly 84 percent of the vote with a portion of all precincts reporting.

Hundal’s grass-roots campaign focused on creating jobs and closing the services gap he saw between West Sacramento’s older northern neighborhoods and the newer suburban tracts to the south.

Cabaldon, headed to a sixth straight two-year term, pointed to the Bridge District development remaking the city’s waterfront and other projects in asking residents to reward him with another term. Voters responded, with Cabaldon taking all of the city’s 17 precincts by wide margins. About a third of the city’s 22,800 registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s election, according to Yolo County elections officials.

In the City Council race, Johannessen and Ledesma were headed to certain victory with 42 and 37 percent of the vote, respectively. Challengers Nancy Heth-Tran, 29, a state energy specialist, finished a distant third with nearly 12 percent of the vote, while retired state worker and neighborhood advocate Jeff Lyon picked up nearly 10 percent.

Heth-Tran, in her first city campaign, called for increased amenities for West Sacramento’s growing numbers of young professionals. Lyon has long said the city has done too little to combat homelessness in the city, making that his central campaign issue.

But Ledesma and Johannessen, the city’s mayor pro tem, said the city’s continuing redevelopment efforts and economic progress earned each another term.

Yolo County elections officials on Wednesday said 10,615 ballots remain to be counted countywide, including more than 8,000 unprocessed vote-by-mail ballots, 2,260 provisional ballots and more than 300 other unprocessed or damaged ballots.

▪ Folsom City Council: Folsom Mayor Kerri M. Howell and council incumbents Steve Miklos and Andy Morin appeared to fend off spirited challenges to hold their City Council seats with a portion of all precincts counted.

Howell, 56, led the pack with about 18 percent of the vote, followed closely by council members Morin, 53, at 17 percent, and Miklos, 57, with 16 percent.

But both Roger Gaylord, a local security solutions consultant and member of the city’s utilities commission; and city planning commissioner Jennifer Lane picked up more than 4,400 votes, good enough for 14 percent each and a near dead heat for fourth place.

Gaylord, 31, ran on a campaign to chase out “career incumbent council members elected with Chamber money,” and to mind the city’s growth. Lane, 62, ran on quality-of-life issues, positioning herself as a steward of sustainable growth and water conservation.

But Folsom residents appeared to turn again to experienced council hands with Howell, Miklos and Morin in the lead.

▪ Citrus Heights City Council : All three incumbents in the Citrus Heights council race were still in their seats after Tuesday’s election.

The trio ran a tight race, with Jeannie Bruins earning 25.8 percent of the vote, Mel Turner 22 percent and Steve “Sparky” Miller 21.4 percent. Challengers Tim Schaefer and Bridget Duffy earned 18.1 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively.

The relocation of the Citrus Heights City Hall and the construction of a medical office building in its place became a central theme of debate in this race. The incumbents have supported the move, while their opponents have challenged it.

The deal to allow Dignity Health to construct the three-story medical center on the site at Greenback Lane and Fountain Square Drive will generate $6 million to $7 million in lease payments over 15 years, said the incumbents. The money would be used to offset the cost of the new $18.9 million city hall to be built on property the city would purchase nearby.

▪ Rancho Cordova City Council: Incumbents on the Rancho Cordova City Council are headed toward victory and will likely take office with additional sales-tax revenue.

Based on county election reports, council members Linda Budge and Dan Skoglund were leading four challengers by more than 10 percentage points. County officials estimated Wednesday that about one-third of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots countywide have yet to be tallied.

The challengers – James Feci, a disabled veteran; Dean Michelini, a cook; Conrade Mayer, a youth counselor; and group-home counselor Kevin E. Johnson – said Rancho Cordova needs a change in leadership to address problems such as blight and poor street conditions.

Mayer is the closest challenger in the latest results, receiving nearly 18 percent of the vote, trailing current second-place finisher Skoglund with 28 percent of the vote.

Voters appeared to pass a sales tax increase of a half-cent on the dollar, as Measure H had 59 percent of the vote. Officials said revenue would pay for a variety of services, including increased police presence and clearing blight on Folsom Boulevard.

City officials estimate the tax will raise $5 million a year, which would boost the city’s $43 million annual budget by more than 10 percent. It is a general tax, meaning the city can spend it on any purpose.

Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.