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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press and Wasco Tribune 

Election drags on in Wasco, Shafter races


Last updated 12/1/2020 at 5:05am

In a very tight Shafter City Council race, Mayor Gilbert Alvarado has once again passed Kris Lawrence and Chad Givens to have the second most votes in the election for the three open seats.

Last week, results said that Givens and Lawrence had overtaken Alvarado by under 50 votes. As of Nov. 20, Alvarado has 17.5% the vote, with 2,088 votes. Givens is third with 2,068 votes and Lawrence is on the outside looking in at the moment with 2,033 votes.

Council member Manuel Garcia is well off the pace with 15.77% and Rafael Zamudio has 12.44%.

Alvarado was in the news this week as he commented to Jose Gaspar in a Bakersfield Californian article that he believes that he and Garcia were targeted by a group prior to the election, regarding videos that were posted online endorsing Pete Espinoza, the top vote getter, Givens and Lawrence. Alvarado, who didn’t respond to numerous efforts for comments for two months before the election, spoke out to Gaspar.

“Manuel Garcia and I were definitely targeted,” Alvarado said to Gaspar. Gaspar wrote that community members considered Alvarado, Garcia and Mayor Pro-Tem Cesar Lopez as a “voting bloc” after they nominated Alvarado as mayor and Lopez as Mayor Pro-Tem. Alvarado questioned the motives for the stance, insinuating that culture might have played a part.

“Is it because of our culture that they considered us a voting bloc?” Alvarado was quoted as saying.

The results of the election are updated regularly. The Kern County Elections Office said that the next update should be coming on Wednesday afternoon, past the Shafter Press deadline.

In other races, the race for City Council in Wasco also saw a change in the vote. Vincent Martinez, who trailed William David Ward after election night and the week after, has overtaken Ward and leads by 21 votes. In the District 4 race, council member Tilo Cortez has seen his lead over Eddie Saldana shrink to four votes, 426-422.

Check the Shafter Press and Wasco Tribune websites during the week for more updated results.


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