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Challengers Leading Incumbents in 2 State Center Trustee Races
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By Jim Jakobs, Digital Producer
Published 3 years ago on
November 4, 2020

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Early results posted by the Fresno County elections office in the State Center Community College District show incumbents facing real challenges.

Area 2 Seat

The most prominent race pits embattled incumbent Eric Payne in a race for the Area 2 seat he has held since 2012.

Payne’s opponents, communications professional Nasreen Michelle Johnson and Sevag Tateosian, a Fresno County analyst, each have raised more than $30,000, according to their most recent campaign finance reports.

Payne, by contrast, reported no donations.

With 100% of the precincts reporting (with additional mail and drop box ballots still to be counted), the leaders are currently:

  • Nasreen Michelle Johnson, 15,645 votes representing 37.47% of the vote.
  • Sevag Tateosian, 13,502 votes representing 32.34% of the vote.
  • Eric Payne, 12,557 votes representing 30.08% of the vote.

Earlier in the day Payne told GV Wire℠, “This is a historic election. This has really been a historic year for the primary and the general election.”

Sevag Tateosian said, “Hopefully we can pull through with a victory.”

Reached by phone late Tuesday night, Nasreen Johnson says, “While the early returns look good, it’s too early to call anything.”

Area 3 Seat

John Leal is seeking re-election to his third term in Area 3, which stretches from central Fresno southeast through Reedley. Leal’s opponents are Dary Rezvani, owner of Mid Valley Auto Repair, and Danielle Parra, a Fowler graduate student.

With 100% of the precincts reporting (with additional mail and drop box ballots still to be counted), the leaders are currently:

  • Danielle Parra, 14,823 votes representing 38.53% of the vote.
  • John Leal, 14,586 votes representing 37.91% of the vote.
  • Dary Rezvani, 9,000 votes representing 23.39% of the vote.

Area 6 Seat

Deborah Ikeda, a retired State Center college president, is facing two Clovis residents in the election for the Area 6 seat: Sally Fowler, a longtime K-12 educator and administrator, and Chris Milton, a businessman and a civil rights advocate who rose to prominence locally in last summer’s protests over the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd by police.

Area 6 includes northwest and east-central Fresno, Clovis, and stretches eastward in the county to the Pine Flat reservoir.

With 100% of precincts reporting  in (with additional mail and drop box ballots still to be counted), the leaders are currently:

  • Deborah Ikeda, 24,948 votes representing 43.60% of the vote.
  • Sally Fowler, 21,825 votes representing 38.14% of the vote.
  • Chris Milton, 10,409 votes representing 18.19% of the vote.

Area 7 Seat

Richard Caglia is seeking his fourth term on the board. Challenger Abena Cruise, 44, is a community health representative for Table Mountain Rancheria and a member of the Black Women Organized for Political Action.

Sunnyside teacher Jon Bath’s name is still on the ballot. Bath says he has dropped out of the race but declined to comment further.

With 100% of precincts reporting  in (with additional mail and drop box ballots still to be counted), the leaders are currently:

  • Richard Caglia, 15,561 votes representing 45.70% of the vote.
  • Jon Bath, 10,807 votes representing 31.74% of the vote.
  • Abena Cruise, 7,641 votes representing 22.44% of the vote.

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