Although the official results of the Tuesday, March 3, primary won’t be certified for a few weeks, here are some takeaways that can be counted now.
In the race for District 1 supervisor (Three Rivers), there will be a runoff between the top two finishers: Kuyler Crocker, incumbent, and challenger Larry Micari.
The Three Rivers walk-up precinct totals are representative of how close this race will be. At the Three Rivers polling place (Memorial Building), Crocker finished with 100 votes, Larry Micari had 93, Robyn Stearns received 34.
Many Three Rivers voters now vote by mail and those ballots are still being counted. District-wide as of the first post-election night totals, Micari received 5,624 votes, Crocker 4,437, and Stearns 1,938. The projection that Crocker and Micari will run off in November is not likely to change when all the ballots are counted. To win the primary outright in a non-partisan race, a candidate must receive a majority of all the votes cast (over 50 percent).
“I am pleased with the results so far,” said Larry Micari, challenger for the District 1 seat. “Our team is developing a strategy for the next step in the election process, and we look forward to an exciting runoff.”
Meanwhile, back at the Memorial Building, in the race for President on the Democratic ballot, Joe Biden received 59 votes: Bernie Sanders tallied 51. Countywide, as of the first post-election night totals, Sanders is the winner over Biden, 7,302 to 5,461. Sanders also won statewide in California.
On the Republican ballot at the Three Rivers precinct, President Trump received 78 out of 85 votes cast. It was a landslide for the incumbent president countywide.
In the congressional races, in the top-two format, incumbents Kevin McCarthy (23rd District – including Three Rivers) and Devin Nunes (22nd District – Tulare) easily won the right to face the second place finisher in their respective districts. McCarthy (R) and Kim Mangone (D) advanced to the Nov. 3 general election in the 23rd District.
In the 22nd District, Nunes (R) took an early 10,000 vote lead over Phil Arballo the Democratic challenger. If Arballo, a Fresno-based financial consultant, maintains second place he will face Nunes in November.
SCE power outage
An area-wide power outage on Monday, March 2, knocked out service in an extensive part of eastern Tulare County including Exeter, Woodlake, and Three Rivers. The unplanned outage caught thousands of SCE customers by surprise. In Three Rivers, 1,767 customers were without power from 1:30 p.m. to almost 5:30 p.m.
From a statement released by SCE: “The outage occurred when the Kaweah 123-Kawgen-Lemon Cove-Three Rivers-Venida 66kV line, and Three Rivers, Lemon Cove, and Venida Substations were interrupted. Preliminary reports indicate a pop-up canopy blew into overhead equipment on the Terminus 12kV Circuit, resulting in a downed conductor near Avenue 324 and Highway 198. Most customers were restored by 2:20 p.m. and all power was restored at 5:18 p.m.
Three Rivers School rehires superintendent/principal
At the regular monthly board meeting on Wednesday, March 4, the Three Rivers Union School board of trustees met in closed session to consider contract renewal for Sue Sherwood. Sherwood, who currently serves as superintendent/principal and also teaches eighth grade, had requested that she return in the 2020-2021 school year as an administrator but be retired from teaching. After meeting in closed session, the board voted unanimously to rehire Sherwood full time as superintendent/principal for the 2020-2021 school year.
Details of the new contract and other staffing changes will be announced at the April 1 board meeting. Among other agenda items at Wednesday’s meeting was a discussion of how to utilize an $800,000 reserve fund. The law requires that the fund be three percent and 10 percent for some districts. The TRUS reserve fund currently equals 65 percent.
Several parents commented that part of the reserve could be used to fund sports, music, and art programs that are currently underfunded. That investment could attract more students that are currently attending charter schools.
It was also suggested that some of the reserve fund be used to boost teacher salaries. The board agreed to explore a better balance on how to use reserve funds.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday April 1, at 6:30 p.m., in the TRUS library. The public is welcome to attend.