For those paying attention to last week’s election results, a question arose over the weekend: Could the Selma City Council have a 3-2 female majority when the newly-elected are sworn in next month?
That possibility became an issue when last Friday’s update from Fresno County showed Blanca Mendoza-Navarro ahead of City Council veteran Jim Avalos by 11 votes in District 1. She had trailed Avalos in the first posting on election night.
If Navarro’s narrow lead holds, and Beverly Cho maintains her almost 10 percent margin over Lori Perez in District 4, the new candidates would join Sarah Guerra in a three-woman Council contingent alongside Councilman John Trujillo.
The Mayor — either Scott Robertson or Louis Franco — would be the fifth council vote.
Robertson and Franco both live in District 4, and vacated their claim to that seat by running for Mayor, which is elected city-wide. That left District 4 open for Cho, a longtime Selma restaurateur, and Perez, a retired school district employee. Cho led by 108 votes in Friday’s update, 595-487.
Cho, who has been active in many community organizations including Selma Lioness Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce, said gender wasn’t the most important element of a new council member.
“Female or male, new people will bring new ideas and possibly make a difference,” she said.
Navarro, a manager for the City of Fresno Housing Authority, led Avalos in Friday’s update, 707 to 696. Mark Medina is third with 477 votes.
Her thoughts on a possible 3-2 female majority? “For me it doesn't matter,” Navarro said. “What matters is that we work as a team to better our City. As individuals we are role models for our future generations and our role is to create future leaders by showing them that gender, race, background etc. does not matter.”
This was the first year of voting by districts for the Selma City Council, using a system of four districts with the Mayor being elected city-wide. Measure E, which would have changed the voting system to five districts with the Council choosing its Mayor, is trailing 3,755 to 2,574.
In the race for Selma School Board, businessman Nick Sahota held a slim lead in Area 2 with 484 votes to 452 for Jaspreet Nagra and 439 for Cesar Bejarnano. The winner will replace longtime Selma Unified trustee Paul Green.
Rosemary Alanis ran unopposed in Area 1 and will replace Karl Salazar.
The two new trustees will join Jennifer Winter, Roger Orosco and Diane Jensen, whose terms run through 2022.
Measure L, which would have approved a gambling business in Selma, is losing with 4,078 no votes to 2,431 yes votes.
In the voting for two seats on the Selma Health Care Board, one race appears settled but the other is close.
In District 2, incumbent Lorane Avalos leads challenger Joel Fedor, 1,116 to 363. In a tighter race in District 4, Daniel Serimian leads Armando Guerra, 625 to 609.
The Fresno County Clerk’s office said the next update was scheduled for 3 p.m. this Tuesday, Nov. 10. An estimated 38,340 votes had yet to be counted by last Friday.
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