On Tuesday night, voters in San Mateo County weighed in on a number of key races. Retirements of longtime elected officials led to a cascade of open seats rarely seen on one single ballot, including US Congress, the State Assembly, and the Board of Supervisors. Tuesday’s election represented a once-in-a-generation event that will transform the political landscape of San Mateo County for years to come.
Voters appear to have elected a new sheriff while simultaneously approving most school funding bond and parcel tax measures. Clear favorites heading into November emerged in other races, while others remain too close to call with an estimated 77,000 ballots left to be counted, according to the San Mateo County Elections Office.
U.S. Representative District 15 – Mullin vs. Canepa
Assemblymember Kevin Mullin received roughly 42 percent of the vote on the first count, while San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa came in second with approximately 23 percent. The two will compete in November.
The son of the late Assemblymember Gene Mullin, Mullin ran as the favored candidate to replace Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who endorsed his bid. “Thrilled at the initial results in my primary election for the U.S. House of Representatives. These are San Mateo County results which represents approximately 85 percent of the district. S.F. results will be forthcoming. I am so grateful for the resounding support,” Mullin tweeted out Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, Canepa tweeted a video of himself thanking supporters. “It looks like the coronation isn’t happening, folks. Happy Wednesday! Thank you! We just made the runoff ‘till November. It doesn’t stop with Team Canepa. All day, every day,” he said in the video.
Assembly District 21 – Papan vs. Gilham
Democrat Diane Papan emerged as the decisive victor in the race to succeed Kevin Mullin in the State Assembly, earning approximately 44 percent of the vote.
The race for the second place spot to advance to the General Election remains too close to call. Republican Mark Gilham currently has approximately 21 percent of the vote, trailed by Redwood City Mayor and Democrat Giselle Hale, who stands at approximately 17 percent. 1,719 votes separate the two.
“I am honored and proud to have earned the support of the people of San Mateo County – the community where I was born and raised, and where I am raising our own daughter,” Papan tweeted Tuesday night. “I look forward to continuing to actively campaign throughout my district (AD21) all the way to November!”
Asked for a comment on the latest count, Hale said, “Right now more than half the ballots cast are uncounted, and there is a positive trend in our favor. I’m a firm believer that every vote should be counted. We look forward to seeing the results as they continue to count.”
Candidate Gilham did not respond to a request for comment.
Board of Supervisors District 2 – Stone vs. Corzo
Belmont City Councilmember Charles Stone grew his lead over San Mateo-Foster City School District Trustee Noelia Corzo, who will face each other in November. The race is neck-and-neck, with Stone receiving about 45 percent and Corzo receiving 43 percent. A third candidate, Cameron Rolfe, finished in a distant third with 12 percent of the vote.
“I am grateful for the grassroots movement that propelled us to the number one spot. I’m cautiously optimistic for a positive outcome. If we are headed for a General Election, I am looking forward to taking our message to the voters,” Stone stated in an interview with Climate Magazine.
Asked for her reaction, Corzo expressed optimism that she would eventually pull ahead of Stone: “I’m still confident that the ballots left to be counted will continue in our favor. Either way, I look forward to the November runoff and being elected to address our climate emergency for the people most affected by it.”
Board of Supervisors District 3 – Mueller vs. Parmer-Lohan
Menlo Park City Councilmember Ray Mueller and San Carlos City Councilmember Laura Parmer-Lohan will advance to the General Election. Mueller was the top vote-getter in the primary, receiving roughly 36 percent of the first vote count, while Parmer-Lohan received about 31 percent.
“We’re grateful for the support our campaign has earned district-wide,” said Mueller in a statement. “Our success reflects the values of our campaign, to protect and improve the quality of life of every District 3 resident, and the heart of our volunteers and supporters. We look forward to continuing to spread our message of practical solutions on infrastructure, supporting small businesses, environment, public safety, and workforce housing to build a brighter future for everyone in this large and diverse district.”
Parmer-Lohan told Climate Magazine, “While the vote count continues, the response from voters has been terrific, and I am excited about how the vote is trending. The results show voters want someone who take leadership in addressing the devastating impacts of climate change. I look forward to further election updates and thank District 3 voters for participating in this important election.”
Sheriff’s Race – Christina Corpus Upset
Voters delivered an upset to incumbent Carlos Bolanos, who has served in the office since 2016.
Challenger Christina Corpus, former Police Chief of Millbrae received nearly 55 percent of the first vote count, compared to Bolanos’ 45 percent. If a candidate exceeds the 50 percent vote threshold, they do not have to run again in November and are declared the official winner of the race.
Since election night, neither Corpus nor Bolanos appear to have released any formal statements. On election night, Corpus told her supporters, “I am overwhelmed right now. We stood up to an establishment, and it’s been amazing.”
Bolanos struck a conciliatory tone on Tuesday night. “If the worst thing that happens is that I lose, I won’t take it the wrong way,” Bolanos told the crowd. “I will always pull my head up, and I will always be proud of the work that I do.”
Assessor-Recorder – Church Reelected
Incumbent Mark Church cruised to reelection on Tuesday night, gaining 83 percent of the vote next to his competitor David Pollack.
“I’m very grateful for the voters for their trust and confidence,” Church said Tuesday night. “They have spoken loudly and clearly. I look forward to continuing to serve the people in the upcoming term.”
Pollack conceded on Tuesday and reiterated why he joined the race. “The reason I got into this race was to make running for office more transparent and accessible for community members who want to represent the community,” Pollack said.
The San Mateo County Elections Office has not indicated how many votes remain to be counted. Ballots must be received no later than Friday to be counted, so further votes are to be expected. Whether they will be enough to change the current status of the races is unclear. The next update will be released Monday, June 13.