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Latest Count Shows Challenger on Brink of Unseating Local College Trustee



State Center trustee Bobby Kahn's lead had shrunk to just 34 votes over challenger Destiny Rodriguez in the Area 1 race. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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A community college district trustee saw his race tighten after election officials in Fresno and Madera counties reported the latest updated totals on Friday, while a Fresno school board trustee gained a bit of breathing room in her race.

As of Friday’s vote update, State Center Community College District incumbent Bobby Kahn has a lead of just 34 votes, with several thousand ballots yet to be counted in Fresno County and several hundred in Madera County.

Challenger Destiny Rodriguez, a businessewoman and consultant to the California Air Resources Board, could overtake Kahn in the next vote updates that will come next week from Madera County and Dec. 2 from Fresno County. While Kahn has outpolled Rodriguez in Madera County, the challenger has been the top vote-getter in Fresno County, closing in on the incumbent with each new report.

The third candidate is Alfredo Miranda, a Fresno County eligibility worker, who is far behind the top two.

Kahn, the Area 1 trustee, has 41.6%, Rodriguez has 41.5%, and Miranda has 16.5% of the ballots cast in the two counties.

Before this year’s redistricting of State Center, Area 1 included all of the Madera County portion of the district and a large portion of northern Fresno County. It now contains portions of northwestern Fresno County and the western portion of Madera County. Area 7, represented by Trustee Richard Caglia, contains the remainder of Madera County in addition to northeastern Fresno County. Caglia will be up for reelection, should he choose to run, in 2024.

Rodriguez, who is making her first run for public office, said she is thrilled that she’s continuing to gain in the vote count. “I’m just hopeful at this point that it will continue to go in my favor,” she said Friday afternoon.

As to whether she would consider seeking a recount if Kahn maintains his lead, Rodriguez said she hadn’t considered it to this point but said it’s possible she would.

Asked whether he would seek a recount if Rodriguez overtakes him in the final count, Kahn said in a text to GV Wire that he doesn’t “anticipate asking for a recount.”

Lead Grows in Fresno Unified Race

Meanwhile, Fresno Unified Trustee Veva Islas continued to widen her lead over challengers Karen Steed, a retired teacher, and chemist Michelle Scire. Islas, who is seeking election to her second term on the School Board, was leading by only 25 votes on Election Night, but her lead has gradually expanded and on Friday it stood at 325 votes.

Islas has 44.9%, Steed has 39.7%, and Scire has 15.2% of the ballots cast in the McLane Area 4 race.

The Fresno County Elections Office said 2,000 ballots remain to be processed, which means the office cleared about 19,000 since Tuesday’s update. Fresno County has scheduled two more updates for Dec. 2 and Dec. 8.

Madera County will provide another update on Nov. 23. The county reported that 200 ballots remain to be processed.

Dec. 8 is the deadline to certify the Nov. 8 elections.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email