Tuesday is Election Day, and while the 25th Congressional District race between Rep. Steve Knight and Democrat Katie Hill has garnered national attention for the amount of outside money spent, Antelope Valley voters will also have three bond measures to consider, the Palmdale City Council and mayor seats to decide, several school boards to fill, and two seats on the Palmdale Water District board to consider. Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Assemblyman Tom Lackey are also running for re-election.
An estimated $15 million in outside money has been spent in the 25th Congressional District race, including $4.5 million from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC in support of Hill, according to a report by politico.com. The website reported Knight’s supporters have spent just over $4.6 million in the race including $3.4 million opposing Hill.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, who represents the 23rd Congressional District, will face Democrat Tatiana Matta on Tuesday. According to fivethirtyeight.com, Matta has less than a 0.1% chance of beating McCarthy. The 23rd Congressional District is 27.1 points more Republican than the nation overall, and is the 92nd-most-Republican district, the website said. By comparison, the website put Hill’s chance at beating Knight at 63%.
In the 36th Assembly District race Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, will face off against Democrat Steve Fox.
Fox cost taxpayers $210,000 to settle sexual harassment and work-related claims during his first and only term in state office. The Palmdale attorney, a former Antelope Valley Hospital and Antelope Valley College board member, served as the Antelope Valley’s assemblyman from 2012 to 2014. Two former staff members sued Fox, including one who filed a claim of harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The Assembly agreed in April 2017 to pay $100,000 on that claim.
The Assembly also paid $110,000 to settle a lawsuit filed against Fox by another former staffer who claimed she was not paid for overtime work and had to do work for his legal practice while on the state payroll.
In the city of Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford will face two challengers on Election Day: Councilman Steve Hofbauer, and V. Jesse Smith, co-founder of The Community Action League.
Ledford, who is seeking a 14th term, is due in court on Feb. 11 in his criminal corruption case. The mayor faces five felony counts in the case in which he and two co-defendants are accused of conspiring to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars in NASA funds from a Palmdale-based nonprofit educational organization the co-defendants ran.
Prosecutors allege Ledford was paid $60,000 a year without performing any substantial work for the organization, the AERO Institute.
Ledford pleaded not guilty to the charges on Aug. 22, more than a year after the charges were initially filed June 21, 2017, as the arraignment was postponed six times. Additional charges were filed in January.
Palmdale City Councilman Juan Carrillo, who represents Council District 4, will face challenger Oscar Aleman, a Palmdale businessman and former Planning Commissioner.
In the local school board races 39 peoole are seeking 24 seats on nine school boards.
Antelope Valley College has one seat up for election, the Trustee Area No. 2 seat held by Steve Buffalo. Buffalo will face challengers Miguel Coronado, a professor/counselor/entrepreneur, and Byron Glennan, a retired educator.
Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District has three full-term seats up for election, and one short-term, two-year seat.
Incumbents Kelly Jensen, Ken Pfalzgraf, and Ed Porter will face challengers Tom Costan, Andrew Charles Kendall, and Lester Mascon. Retired district teacher Tim Jorgensen, Agua Dulce resident Dee Holland, property manager Allen Wessel; and small business owner Brandon Tyler Roque are running for the short-term seat.
Acton-Agua Dulce voters will also consider Measure CK, the 7.5 million school improvement bond measure. The bond measure, if successful, Measure CK, will provide funding for the district to complete safety improvements and modernization of the Acton, Agua Dulce, Meadowlark Elementary and High Desert Middle school campuses; and construct tennis courts and basketball courts at Vasquez High School.
The bond funds also would provide the district matching funds to potentially secure up to $3.1 million in state School Facility Program Modernization grants for work at Meadowlark and High Desert schools.
At least 55% of voters on Nov. 6 need to say “yes” to Measure CK for the bond to pass.
Antelope Valley Union High School District Board President Michael Dutton will face challenger Victoria Ruffin in the race to retain his Trustee Area No. 5 seat.
The high school district has one other seat up for election: Trustee Area Nos. 4. a new seat created last year when the district transitioned to a by-trustee area election system. This contest will see Amanda Parrell, a Palmdale School District PTA leader, face off against Juan Blanco, a U.S. Army veteran and retired communication technician.
In the Eastside Union School District incumbent Doretta Thompson, who represents Trustee Area 1, will face challenger Wayne M. Kalliomaa in the race to retain her seat.
Keppel Union School District incumbents Jannie Dutton and Theresa McCafferty will be challenged by former trustee Georgia Halliman, and community volunteer Christopher Minsal.
Palmdale School District board President Nancy Smith, appointed incumbent Ralph Velador, and incumbent Joyce Ricks will face challengers Simone Zulu, a retired preschool teacher, Vajezatha Payne, a licensed psychotherapist, and Dave Markov, a substitute teacher.
Westside Union School District incumbent John Curiel and appointed incumbent Jennifer Navarro will face challengers Amaka Donn, an adjunct instructor at AV College, retired teacher Billy Lindoff, and businessman and educator Travis K. Wilson.
Wilsona School District incumbents Robert Harris and Anne Misicka will face challenger Kathy Harris and retired teacher David M. Lewis in the three-seat race.
Wilsona School District is also pursuing Measure WE, a $6.5 million bond measure that will help with safety improvements at the district office and schools. The measure will require 67% voter approval to pass.
In the Palmdale Water District Division 2 incumbent Joe Estes will face challenger Don Wilson, a school personnel commissioner. Division 5 incumbent Vincent Dino will face challenger Sheik Aslam, a teacher.
The Antelope Valley Healthcare District race for two seats has three candidates: incumbent Dr. Don Parazo, appointed incumbent Dr. Phil Tuso, and frequent, though unsuccessful candidate Michael Rives.
Voters will also consider Measure H, AV Healthcare District’s $350 million general obligation bond measure that will ensure the hospital meets California’s 2030 seismic earthquake safety standards by upgrading the existing hospital or building a new state-of-the-art facility.
Southern Kern Unified School District will see 13 candidates vie for a seat on the board. Three four-year seats are up for election. The 10 candidates who filed are incumbent Mario Gutierrez, appointed incumbent David Gregg, and challengers Robert Vincelette Jr., Elizabeth Aqenenni, Jim Bender, Linda Brandts, Jonathan Compton, Brian George, Naomi Novak, and Corthel “Corky” Robinson.
Three candidates filed for Southern Kern’s two-year, unexpired seat: Carol Robinson, Gerald Boetsch Jr., and Mark Notterman.
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