Measure M passes easily, Eppler retains seat, McClintock victoriousFree Access

Measure M, the Mariposa County ballot initiative to raise the tax on tourists who purchase accommodations, passed easily in the Tuesday general election.

The measure, which will raise the transient occupancy tax by 2 percent and put an estimated $3 million per year into county coffers, garnered 3,953 votes while there were 2,673 votes against, according to the unofficial final votes from the Mariposa County Office of Elections.

The votes will not be official until being canvassed.

In the race for Mariposa County Unified School District Trustee District 3, incumbent Judy Eppler also handily defeated opponent Christy Wall 3,404 to 2,497.

Keith Williams, registrar of voters for the county, reported just over 6,700 votes were cast in the election, or about 62 percent of the 10,704 registered voters in Mariposa County.

“I am thrilled the people saw the value of this,” said Mariposa County Supervisor Kevin Cann. “I saw this as an issue of integrity.”

That integrity, said Cann, was the fact the supervisors pledged the funds would be spent on three areas: roads, fire protection and public safety.

Mariposa County Sheriff Doug Binnewies was also pleased with the outcome.

“I thank all of the great people of Mariposa County for supporting their public safety team,” said the sheriff. “We needed this, and you were there to partner with us. Thank you.”

He added: “It shows true partnership with our community. This is a big deal. We needed this … This will work to our benefit.”

In the school board race, Eppler said she was happy the voters chose to keep her in office.

“I am overwhelmed, I don’t know what to say,” she said in an interview Tuesday night. “I appreciate all of the support I’ve had and the trust the voters placed in me. I want to get down to finishing what we need to do and helping kids.”

Another closely watched race was for United State Representative in District 4.

In that race, incumbent Tom McClintock retained his seat against upstart Democrat Jessica Morse. Across the vast district, McClintock received 120,601 votes compared to 97,345 for Morse. In Mariposa County, McClintock received 3,917 votes compared to 2,805 for Morse.

The two candidate conducted their only head-to-head debate in front of a live audience in late September in Mariposa.

McClintock won  his fifth term in Congress, but will go back to Washington in different circumstances. Nationally, the Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, meaning the chairmanships of committees and sub-committees will no longer be in the hands of Republicans.

In other races of interest, incumbent California District 5 Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, a Republican, easily won reelection, garnering 76,961 votes to Democrat challenger Carla Neal’s 50,693.

For State Senate in District 8, Republican Andreas Borgeas was the easy winner, as well, getting 130,411 votes to Democrat challenger Paulina Miranda’s 82,044.

Borgeas will replace Sen. Tom Berryhill, who could not seek reelection because of term limits.

In a matter of both local and statewide interest, Californians will not be paying less for fuel.

Proposition 6, the proposed repeal of the gasoline tax, was defeated. There were 3,793,133 votes against Prop 6 and 3,069,584 for the measure. That is with 95.7 percent of precincts reporting.

In Mariposa County, voters wanted it repealed, casting 3,708 yes votes and 2,914 no votes.

There were many other statewide ballot initiatives, as well.

For results from on the statewide election, visit vote.sos.ca.gov/.

For complete results from Mariposa County, visit www.mariposacounty.org/132/Election-Results and click on the November 2018 Statewide General Election link.

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