Prop 19 didn’t pass statewide, but Mammoth was all about the “adult” brownie. (Photo: Thies)
Mono County voters are often hard to predict. They like to buck election trends … when it suits them.
In recent elections, the County has voted increasingly democratic. In 2004, for example, John Kerry tied George W. Bush in Mono County, even though W. won nationally. In 2008, Mono County and the country-at-large supported Obama.
This year, Mono County voted largely “red” (Republican), mirroring national results, but in contrast to their fellow Californians.
We even voted in sharp contrast on non-partisan issues. The state turned down the pot initiative by 54-46%, but in Mono County, the electorate favored the measure by 13 percentage points
You’d think that liberal sort of stance would carry over to top office races, but Mono County went for Republicans Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina in the Governor’s and Senate races, respectively. Each candidate lost handily statewide.
Still, local voters weren’t “red” through and through. Democrat Bill Lockyer got the nod for State Treasurer, and Ken Cooley topped GOP candidate Ted Gaines for State Senator in the primary, though Gaines edged out Cooley, as well as survived a vote-splitting challenge from two other Republicans. The two will square off in a final Special Election in January.
Another interesting race was the one for Mono Superior Court Judge, in which Mark Magit bested Randy Gephart.
Magit beat Gephart in the primary back in June by roughly 150 out of approximately 3,400 votes cast. A third candidate, Therese Hankel, garnered enough votes so that Magit did not receive 50% of the vote, pushing the race to a November runoff.
According to Tuesday’s tally, Magit beat Gephart 2,186-1,895.
Those numbers would indicate that Magit ended up winning a majority of the new votes, as well as a significant portion of Hankel supporters – though Hankel had endorsed Gephart.
With Tuesday’s defeat of Democratic Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, U.S. Congressman Buck McKeon (R-25th District), Mono County’s representative, appears poised as next in line to take over as the ranking majority member on the very powerful House Armed Services Committee.
And clearly, campaigning from Mexico seems to work around here, at least if you’re Dr. Dennis Crunk, who won a seat on the Southern Mono Healthcare District by a landslide, despite zero advertising of any sort and a pre-election vacation.
The same held true for Fire Commission candidate Richard Good, who happened to be in Nepal last week on a trip for Habitat for Humanity.
Fellow Commissioner Richard Blanco made the mistake of staying in town. He lost.
One other note: turnout was unusually robust, with 71% of voters casting ballots, as opposed to 59% in June. See our Election Results graphic on page 7 for more details on several key races.