IMPERIAL COUNTY — Incumbent Imperial County District 2 Supervisor Luis Plancarte appears to have won re-election to the county board with a decisive victory, according to the unofficial final preliminary vote count in the March 3 primary.
Plancarte was leading
lone challenger Claudia Camarena with 1,814 votes, or 57.77 percent, the county
Election Department reported March 4. Camarena had 1,326 votes, or 42.23
“I’m excited; hopefully,
I will be able to keep the lead,” Plancarte said March 4.
The key to success was
“people had seen the way that I work, working with people to build consensus
rather than coming at people. … There is a known and a proven that they’re
(voters) working with,” he said.
With just two primary candidates
there will be no runoff in November.
The final preliminary
count was made up of the results from early mail-in ballot returns and ballots
cast at the 39 voting precincts in the district March 3. District 2 is mostly
made up of a small section of El Centro, all of Heber, Ocotillo and western
Imperial County to the border areas west of Calexico.
There could be as many as
7,500 late mail-in and provisional ballots county-wide that have yet to be counted,
election officials said March 3.
“Although I don’t believe
the difference can be made up, I’m happy, hopeful, guarded,” Plancarte said.
“It’s up to the people.
That’s what they wanted,” said Camarena on March 4. “I tried my best to
represent the needs for the whole district. … He had the unions pushing a lot
for him, with mailers and walking. … I’m a grassroots committee. I can’t
compete with that kind of money.”
If the results stand
after the election is certified April 3, this will be the 58-year-old
Plancarte’s second successful bid to the board.
Camarena, 53, of El
Centro, ran for the District 2 seat four years ago but did not move past the
Currently serving as county
board chairman, Plancarte, of El Centro, ran on a ticket promoting solving
issues of regional importance, including infrastructure improvements and
maintenance, water, economic development and job creation.
“My focus continues to
be on the Salton Sea restoration while fighting for the protection of our water
rights, improving quality of life in our communities, improving the
environment, our health, and ensuring that access to affordable housing,
public, social and behavioral programs is available,” Plancarte wrote in his
candidate statement published last month in this newspaper. “All this, while
maintaining a transparent and fiscally responsible county government.”
Camarena, a 30-year
retired county employee, stated she ran because she continually saw “poor
leadership and decision-making by the county Board of Supervisors.”
County Supervisors Michael Kelley, District 3, and Ryan Kelley, District 4,
both won re-election unchallenged.