Voters in Angels Camp decisively approved the Measure C half-percent sales tax increase Tuesday to raise about $400,000 a year to help pay for police and fire services, streets and sidewalk maintenance, and parks and museums.
Also Tuesday, voters across Calaveras County approved Measure G, a 6 percent increase in the visitors tax paid by hotel, motel and short-term rental guests, from 6 percent to 12 percent, to generate about $600,000 a year to help finance sheriff’s patrols, emergency fire district response and protection, road repairs, and other services and infrastructure.
Yes and no votes for Measures C and G came at roughly equal rates. Each measure got approved by about 63 percent of voters with 37 percent opposing.
Voter turnout in Calaveras County was described Tuesday by some observers as significant for a midterm election, with some saying local contests were a referendum on President Donald J. Trump, elected in November 2016. More than 55 percent of registered voters in Calaveras County cast ballots in Tuesday’s unofficial results, and that could swell to up to 69 percent once about 4,000 uncounted vote-by-mail, provisional and other ballots are tallied.
Turnout in the past three presidential elections in Calaveras County exceeded 81 percent in 2016, 76 percent in 2012, and 83 percent in 2008. Turnout in the 2014 midterm election exceeded 59 percent of registered voters in Calaveras County.
Callaway wins District 3
In major races this week, former five-term Calaveras County supervisor Merita Callaway won her District 3 seat back from incumbent Mike Oliveira, 1,990 votes to 1,523, according to unofficial results.
“I’m feeling good, I’m excited, I’m looking forward to it,” Callaway said Wednesday. “I’ve already had phone calls from future constituents giving me work to do.”
According to unofficial results, Callaway won District 3 by a margin of 467 votes, and she received 56.37 percent of the 3,530 votes counted in the district. Oliveira, who won a close race to defeat Callaway four years ago, said Wednesday he is not ready to concede.
“At this point I’m still waiting for the official results to come from the registrar,” Oliveira said. “The last election cycle we didn’t determine that until a couple of days after election day, and that one came down to about 60 votes.”
Tuesday’s results are based on six of six precincts in District 3 reported and counted. Countywide the results are based on 29 of 29 precincts reporting, but there are still about 4,000 vote-by-mail ballots, provisional and same-day conditional ballots yet to be counted, Turner said. County elections staff are also still accepting vote-by-mail ballots that are postmarked Nov. 6 or earlier.
“Four thousand votes? That’s a lot,” Callaway said. “Having been in that position, I understand. I remember calling Mike that election night (four years ago) to concede because I didn’t believe there would be that much difference. But as a candidate I can understand why he wants to wait. You’re always hoping the rabbit will come out of the hat. From his position he would like some magic to occur.”
In Tuesday’s election, it’s not clear how many uncounted ballots come from District 3 voters. In 2014, final results released two weeks after election day showed Oliveira defeated Callaway by 66 votes out of more than 3,660 ballots cast. Oliveira finished with 1,867 votes, 50.8 percent of the turnout, and Callaway finished with 1,801 votes, 49 percent.
Stopper wins District 5
In District 5, challenger Ben Stopper unseated incumbent Supervisor Clyde Clapp in Calaveras County, 1,707 votes to 1,067, with five of five precincts in the district reported and counted.
Clapp, who was elected in November 2016 after the recall of former District 5 Supervisor Steve Kearney, said he accepts the results. He said his defeat comes down to shifting political attitudes.
“I think what you see is what it is,” Clapp said Wednesday. “I think if I ran for District 5 as a supervisor again, I’d run as a communist. If you look at people who got endorsements from the Republican Party, they all lost, and the ones who got endorsed by Democrats, they won.”
People want to say District 5 is a conservative district, Clapp said, but it’s not. There’s been a shift in ideology in Calaveras County. Clapp said he woke up happy Wednesday morning and he’s been working in his olive orchard that he put in last year, and he still has his rental properties. He said his life is back to what it used to be, and it wasn’t a bad life.
“I have maybe five more board meetings to attend and a couple Area 12 meetings to attend, but I don’t have to worry now,” Clapp said. “I woke up really glad, I don’t know how to explain that. I’m 70 years old in a couple months. I enjoyed the two years I did.”
DiBasilio as sheriff
In other races this week in Calaveras County, incumbent Sheriff Rick DiBasilio defeated challenger Gary Lee Stevens 9,072 votes to 6,401, 58.4 percent to 41.2 percent. Stevens said late Tuesday he would not concede, citing uncounted ballots.
In Angels Camp, four candidates were running for two spots on the City Council. Purchasing agent Alvin Broglio led the field with 662 votes, 28.49 percent of the total counted, and incumbent Amanda Folendorf looked to be safely re-elected with 638 votes and 27 percent.
Caroline Schirato received 481 votes and Mike Darby got 330 votes. A fifth candidate, Sarah Lunsford, announced in October she was dropping out of the race, but ballots had already been printed, so her name was among the choices voters had in Tuesday’s election. Lunsford received 221 votes.
Unofficial results may take until Nov. 20 to verify with the state, Rebecca Turner, the county registrar, said Wednesday.
Contact Guy McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.