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Shepard Picks up More Votes in Recount, but Still Trails Hurtado



Recounting continues in Senate District 16, won by Melissa Hurtado over David Shepard. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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As the recount for Senate District 16 continues, David Shepard continues to pick up votes. But it so far has not been enough to overturn Sen. Melissa Hurtado’s 22-vote win.

Hurtado, D-Bakersfield, has already been sworn in for her second term and attended her first session on Wednesday at the state Capitol.

Kings County posted an updated vote count on Wednesday, finding two more votes in Shepard’s favor.

Shepard, R-Porterville, picked up a net three votes in Fresno County, a net two votes in Tulare County, and no gain in Kern County. That is a seven-vote gain for Shepard, whittling Hurtado’s lead to 15 votes.

Recounting continues until finished, or the Shepard campaign stops paying its daily fee. A request does not necessarily mean the entire county will be canvassed. The requestor can ask for only a portion, and a priority order.

The requestor is responsible for costs, needing to provide a cashier’s check at the start of every day of recounting. Fresno County says its total cost was $10,000. Other counties are still calculating final totals, but those are likely in excess of what Fresno — the smallest portion of ballots in the four-county SD 16 — charged.

Previous estimates were $40,000 in Kings County and $38,000 in Tulare County.

Shepard has not reported any new campaign fundraising activity since the Nov. 8 election deadline.

Recount Continues Today in Tulare, Kern

Tulare County continued its recount Thursday. The Shepard campaign says more examinations of invalid signatures is the order for the day.

Signatures on ballot envelopes that did not match what the county clerk had on file were not counted. If a challenge is made by either campaign and accepted by the county clerk, then that ballot is counted.

In Kern County, the Hurtado campaign requested a recount last week, as first reported by GV Wire. She took advantage of a 24-hour window for anyone to request another recount after the initial recounting is finished.

A campaign spokesperson said this was “just in case” Shepard takes the lead with votes from other counties. The recounting started today.

Shepard’s original Kern County request was for precincts he was successful, about 20% of the county’s ballots in the Senate district. Hurtado requested a more thorough account. Kern was the friendliest to Hurtado of the four counties in the district, voting 58% in her favor.

There is a discrepancy in the official vote between Kern County and the official state total. After the Dec. 8 county certification of the election, Kern County found four unopened ballots. A judge granted the county recertification. The ballots broke 3-1 for Hurtado and expanded her lead from 20 (what the state has) to 22 votes.

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

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