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Ramirez recalled, Sharp to take over

Ramirez recalled, Sharp to take over

HANFORD — Residents in Hanford City Council’s District D voted in a special recall election Tuesday night and decided to recall Councilman Francisco Ramirez and replace him with Diane Sharp.

Sharp said she was at the elections office watching the results come in.

She said she was obviously excited about the win and happy for her team for running a successful campaign, but was more so humbled by the news.

“I am feeling humbled and honored that the citizens would put their confidence in me,” Sharp said.

The Kings County election’s office posted semi-official results of the election Tuesday night.

The district has 3,475 registered voters, but only 384 people voted in the election; an 11 percent turnout of voters. The election consisted of two polling places and a vote by mail option, with 342 voters voting by mail.

According to the election’s office, there were 234 votes (61.58 percent) in favor of recalling Ramirez and 146 votes (38.42 percent) against the recall.

The candidate voting breakdown is as follows:

  • Shelli Barker – 42 votes (12.43 percent)
  • Paula Massey – 50 votes (14.79 percent)
  • Lou Martinez – 94 votes (27.81 percent)
  • Diane Sharp – 137 votes (40.53 percent)
  • Write-in – 15 votes (4.44 percent)

Sharp mentioned her fellow candidates, who she called “great people” and said she was “fortunate and honored to be on the ballot with them.” She said she hopes they will continue to stay active in city government issues.

Sharp said she’s trying to hit the ground running and has already sought information on the next council meeting and is trying to get up to speed on city issues like cannabis and the budget.

“I look forward to digging into that,” Sharp said.

Sharp said she wanted to dedicate her victory to her mother, Janet Sharp, and her late father, Sid Sharp. She said many people know or knew of her parents and they are the reason why her family has a good name in Hanford.

“They led the way and have given me a great example of serving the community,” Sharp said.

Sharp is taking over Ramirez’s seat at the tail end of his term, which was set to expire in November. Although she is very much focused on the task at hand, Sharp said she plans on running for reelection in November.

Ramirez, who called the election “bought-and-paid-for” and “rigged”, said he would have beaten Sharp in a regular election, considering there were 146 against the recall and only 137 votes for Sharp.

Ramirez said he would “definitely” run for council again in November.

“I want to thank all the citizens for their support,” Ramirez said. “I’ll be back in November.”

City Clerk Jennifer Gomez said the elections office has to wait at least three days for any mail-in ballots to trickle in before the results can be made official.

However, Gomez said the elections office doesn't expect any remaining ballots to drastically affect the number of votes and is certain the outcome will remain the same.

If the results are made official in time, Gomez said she may be able to get the results certified by Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting, which is Feb. 6. If this happens, Sharp will be sworn in at that meeting and begin her term immediately.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or jzavala@hanfordsentinel.com

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