The State of California’s Primary Election results are still being calculated.
There are some close races that area African American candidates are anxiously watching.

In the District 9 Assembly race, incumbent Jim Cooper has a comfortable lead over opponents Eric Rigard and Tracie Stafford.

According to the Secretary of State, Cooper has received 49,203 votes while Rigard has received 32,878 votes. Stafford is currently in third with 26,758 votes. The top two vote-getters advance to the November general election.

District 9 encompasses portions of Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties.
Ms. Stafford remains optimistic about her chances.

“If I can gain more 6,000 more votes than him (Rigard) in Sacramento County we are in,” Ms. Stafford said by text to The OBSERVER.

It was March 10 when Ms. Stafford, who previously ran for Elk Grove mayor and City Council in the past, sent out an email warning her supporters that the race was far from over and that she had a chance to finish in the top-two tier to run in November.

“I am happy to share that the Assembly District 9 race is far from over,” Ms. Stafford’s March 10 email read. “We are currently in 3rd place with over 161,000 ballots to count in the County and approximately 40,000 in the district.”

Ms. Stafford only accounted for 11 percent of the votes, but continued to show confidence. Her showing is another indication that women in Sacramento County not only have a strong voice in the community, but a lot of people paying attention to their platforms.

“Based on our data, we fully expect to move into the top two as demonstrated by the Friday (March 13) reporting which shows the gap already closing,” Ms. Stafford’s March 10 correspondence stated. “We expect more drastic changes over the next week as the count is updated.”

In reference to the latest primary election results released on March 17, there is no doubt that Mai Vang and Les Simmons will take their fight for Sacramento City Council District 8 to the General Election in November.

Ms. Vang, a Hmong American, leads Simmons, an African American, with 4,553 votes (47.5 percent) to the South Sacramento Christian Center’s senior pastor Les Simmons’ 3,191 (33.3 percent).

Among the five candidates vying for the position, Vang and Simmons carry the biggest pocketbooks and the results show. However, Santiago Morales (676 votes), Ronald Bell (644), and Daphne Harris (508) are responsible for the runoff.

Candidates in Sacramento County needed 50 percent plus-one to avoid a runoff.

Incumbent Sacramento City Councilman Allen Wayne Warren got a little wiggle room during the election. But he will likely face challenger Sean Loloee in a runoff in November for his seat in District 2.

Warren, District 2’s representative since 2012, was leading Loloee with 3,110 (39.7 percent) votes to 2,127 (27 percent). Ramona Landeros, who didn’t have substantial cash flow for her campaign, currently has a stunning 1,806 votes (23.0 percent).

The Twin Rivers Unified School District trustee is still in the rearview mirror of Loloee to enter into the run-off. Lamar Jefferson is in a distant fourth place with 777 votes (9.9 percent).

In District 4, challenger Katie Valenzuela is still out in front of incumbent Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen with 11,003 to 9,861 votes.

Valenzuela has 52.7 percent of the votes while Hansen currently has 47 percent of the votes. If the tally continues in that direction, Valenzuela could be declared the winner in a matter of weeks.

By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer