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‘Nightmare Scenario’ for GOP in Valley State Senate Shocker

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Democrats Tim Robertson, right, and Marie Alvarado-Gil are the top vote-getters in Republican majority state Senate District 4. (GV Wire Composite)
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Despite a 3% party registration advantage, a Republican apparently will not advance to the November ballot in a state Senate district that includes the Valley.

Voters in state Senate District 4 are poised to choose between two Democrats in the November general election if current results hold up. A Republican Party leader says this is the disadvantage of California’s top-two system.

“This is the nightmare scenario,” said Joseph Day, chairman of the Stanislaus County Republican Party. “A lot of people thought that they would have a chance to win. So they jumped in, but they split the votes and that’s unfortunately what can happen.”

Six Republicans, led by former congressman George Radanovich, split 57% of the vote. In the open primary format, only the top two advance. Democrats Tim Robertson (23%) and Marie Alvarado-Gil (20%) appear to be the winners of Tuesday’s primary.

The district covers a 13-county region, including parts of Madera and Merced counties. It stretches across a large geographic area, from Modesto in the west, to Lake Tahoe in the north and down to Inyo County in the southeast.

Senate District 4
Candidate  Votes % Money Raised Jan-May 21, 2022
Tim Robertson (D)                      27,190 23.4% $183,471
Marie Alvarado-Gil (D)                      23,374 20.1% ~$10,000
George Radanovich (R)                      19,774 17.0% $332,740
Steven Bailey (R)                      17,334 14.9% $118,312
Jeff McKay (R)                      17,287 14.9% $741,145
Jack Griffith (R)                         5,571 4.8% n/a
Michael Gordon (R)                         3,215 2.8% $14,333
Jolene Rehana Daly (R)                         2,343 2.0% $0
TOTAL                    116,088

Two Democrats Will Battle in November

Robertson, D-Keyes, is a labor leader and elected member of the Keyes Community Services District. He did not return messages left by GV Wire.

Alvarado-Gil says she ran a grassroots campaign.

“Tomorrow I am going to kiss my grandbaby, thank all my donors, and bake some chocolate chip cookies. After that get ready team, we are in this to win it!” Alvarado-Gil, a public education administrator from Jackson, wrote on her website.

Radanovich’s campaign expressed optimism to GV Wire that the remaining votes would break in his favor and make up a 3,600-vote deficit to advance to November.

Former Republican congressman George Radanovich is sitting third in the state Senate District 4 race and apparently won’t make the November run-off. (GV Wire File)

GOP to Reconsider Endorsement Policy

Day says the party cannot tell other Republicans not to run. In the future, the party will encourage “minor candidates” to run elsewhere.

“They may be very enthusiastic. They may have skills. But we’re going to try to encourage them to run for lower-level offices (such as city council or school board),” Day said.

The county party did not endorse in the race because of the large number of candidates, Day said.

Day prefers the old primary system, where each party votes to send one candidate for the general election.

Conway Wins Congressional Seat

Connie Conway

Connie Conway is headed to Washington, albeit for six months.

The former minority leader in the state Assembly from Tulare won a runoff for the current Congressional District 22, defeating state water manager Lourin Hubbard, D-Fresno, 60%-40%.

“I’m very humbled and very honored and thankful for everybody that supported me and are going to give me an opportunity to represent them one more time,” Conway said.

She expects to be sworn in next week.

Conway will complete the term vacated by former congressman Devin Nunes — who resigned in January to run former President Donald Trump’s social media company. The term expires Jan. 3, 2023. Conway did not seek another congressional seat to serve beyond January.

She plans to retain Nunes’ staff. While in Washington, for the interim, Conway plans to stay in a hotel. The House calendar shows votes scheduled for June 13-16 and 21-24.

Congressional Roundup

  • Incumbent congressman David Valadao, R-Hanford, survived a challenge to his right and garnered a top-two spot in the new Congressional District 22. He finished behind Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, 47%-26%, but ahead of third-place finisher Chris Mathys, R-Firebaugh, at 19%. This is expected to be a battleground seat in November, with both national parties expected to spend big.
  • Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, was the top vote-getter for CD 5, which includes a part of the city of Fresno. He won 44%. He will face Mike Barkley, D-Manteca, who received 37%. Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig, R-Clovis, finished third, with 12%.
  • Adam Gray, D-Merced, and John Duarte, R-Modesto, will face off in CD 13, a seat with no incumbent that covers parts of Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties. They received 33% and 30% respectively. Phil Arballo, D-Fresno, had a presence with TV ads but finished third with 19%.
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, won 57% of the newly drawn CD 20, which extends from Bakersfield through parts of Fresno and Clovis. He will face Marisa Wood, D-Bakersfield, who won 26%.
  • Jim Costa, D-Fresno, took 51% for CD 21, which covers most of the city of Fresno. He will face businessman Michael Maher, R-Kingsburg, who won 24%.

Assembly Roundup

  • Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria, a Democrat, earned the most votes for Assembly District 27, which covers parts of Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties. She received 42%, and will face former sheriff Mark Pazin, R-Merced, who earned 33%. Soria’s city council colleague Mike Karbassi finished fourth of four candidates, with 10%. The heated race led to Karbassi filing a defamation suit against Soria.
  • Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, is cruising to re-election. He took 57% of the primary vote for AD 31. He will face Republican Dolce Misol Calandra, who won 30%.
  • Devon Mathis, R-Porterville, received 62% in AD 33 and will face Tulare councilman Jose Sigala, who had 20%.
  • Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, had no competitor in AD 8. This will be his final time running, as he will term out. Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, also was the sole candidate for AD 32, which extends to Visalia.

State Senate Roundup

  • The other surprise among state Senate races is Senate District 16, where farmer David Shepard, R-Porterville, took the plurality at 42%. He will face incumbent Melissa Hurtado, D-Bakersfield, who won 31%. Former Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, D-Bakersfield, finished third at 14%. Adding all the candidates by party, Republicans and Democrats took 50% each.”Last night’s election results were clear: Central Valley families have had enough of Sacramento’s failed policies,” Shepard said in an email statement.
  • Shannon Grove, a Bakersfield Republican, won SD 12 with 64% of the vote. The new district expands to Clovis and parts of the city of Fresno. She will face Democrat Susanne Gundy. They were the only two primary candidates.
  • Incumbent Anna Caballero, D-Merced, won SD 14 with 55%. She will face Rabbi Amnon Shor, R-Fresno, who received 38%.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email