Local election results favor fresh faces on California City city council.

Early election results for East Kern leadership spots have come after the ballots closed Tuesday night for one of the largest overall turnouts in national history.

According to Kern County Elections Department, the results are still unofficial. 

As of Wednesday, about 100,000 ballots still remained uncounted, according to Kern County's top election official.

 “We are still sorting through the hundreds of bags of provisional and vote by mail ballots that came in from poll sites last night,” Kern County Auditor-Controller and Registration of Voters Mary Bedard on Wednesday.

The next update will be until next week, Bedard said.

The Bakersfield Californian reported Wednesday that Bedard said that despite a widespread campaign to educate voters that they must surrender their mail-in ballots if they planned to vote at the polls, many did not, which resulted in 30,000 to 40,000 provisional ballots being cast at polls on Tuesday. Those ballots have not yet been counted.

 In addition, about 50,000 mail-in ballots that arrived on Saturday and Monday have not yet been tabulated, she said. And many more mail-in ballots that arrived or were dropped off in-person on Tuesday also remain uncounted.

California City mayor and city council

In California City, CPA and former finance director Jeanie O’Laughlin holds an early lead for the mayor’s seat, with 38.22% or 819 votes cast in her favor. Next was sitting Councilmember Nick Lessenevitch, with 613 votes or 28.6% of the tally; Lessenevitch still holds two years left on his current term. 

Trailing behind in third is Mayor Pro Tem Don Parris and incumbent Mayor Chuck McGuire, who each share 259 votes, or 12.09% of the ballots cast. Samuel Pope, Sr. came in fifth with 193 votes, or just over 9% of the ballot.

For the two open full-term city council seats, Karen Macedonio holds a strong early lead, with 1,282 votes (41.16%), following by planning commissioner chair Jim Creighton, who has 984 votes (31.59%). Incumbent Councilmember Ron Smith holds third place, with 844 votes, or 27.09% of the tally.

The short-term seat on council, to fill out a remaining term from a past member, has resident Kim Welling slightly in lead with 719 votes (35.07%). Businessman Kelly Kulikoff comes in second, with 655 votes, followed by candidates LaMiya Patrick with 391 votes (19.07%) and Marcus Fair with 284 votes, or 13.85%.

Mojave Unified School District

Two seats were open for the Mojave Unified School District governing board. 

Incumbent and board president Dr. Larry Adams will retain his seat, after taking 26.88% of the vote, or 1,177 votes. 

For the second available seat, candidate Brandon Tate came in with 21.61%, or 946 votes. 

Following in third with 18.18%, or 796 votes, was California City resident and Chamber board member Carolinda Fleming. Incumbent Toni Evans was in fourth with 778 votes, or 17.77% of the vote. In fifth was candidate Rueben Garcia, with 680 votes, or 15.53% of the tally.

Southern Kern Unified School District

Rosamond’s school district board of trustees had two seats open. Retired education specialist and candidate holds the lead with Robert Vincelette with 2,049 votes (42.75%), while incumbent/clerk of the board Dr. Carol Robinson appears to retain her seat with 1,450 votes. In third place is candidate Dewine Moore, with 1,284 votes, or 26.79% of the ballot.

Mojave Air and Space Port Board of Directors

New faces may occupy two of three seats on the board of the Mojave Air and Space Port. 

In the early final results, candidates Robert Morgan and Chuck Coleman came in first and second respectively, followed with current board president David Evans retaining his seat.

In fourth place was candidate Diane Barney, followed by incumbents Terry Allred and Andrew Parker.

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