San Ramon Valley residents have cast their votes in favor of continuity, as incumbents in Danville and San Ramon dominated Election Night, with only one municipal seat changing hands -- the open second San Ramon City Council position.
Danville Town Council incumbents Karen Stepper and Robert Storer maintained comfortable leads over their challengers, as did San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson over a lone challenger. In the race for San Ramon City Council, incumbent Councilman Dave Hudson claimed the top spot while challenger Sabina Zafar was in second place and poised to secure the other available seat.
With 100% of the precincts reporting as of early Wednesday morning, 21-year San Ramon council member Hudson led with 37.53% of the vote, followed by Zafar, former member of the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee and 2016 council candidate, who earned the second-place spot with 27.16% of reported votes.
San Ramon parks commissioner Sridhar Verose was in the third spot with 18.07%. Aparna Madireddi, a small business and community volunteer, rounded out the ballot with 17.24% of Election Night results.
With Hudson setting the pace well ahead, the challengers seemed to be for the seat left vacant by departing Councilman Harry Sachs, who decided to not run for re-election.
In San Ramon’s mayoral race Clarkson posted a commanding lead in his quest for a fourth and final term as the city’s top elected official with 76.66% of the vote. Challenger, political newcomer and engineer Sanat Sethy, trailed at a distant second holding 23.34% of preliminary results.
“The initial results does seem to give us a pretty good sense that it is going in our direction, and I think it really is a validation from residents that the city is going in the right direction,” Clarkson said after initial results placed him far ahead of his opponent. “I will not forget all of the encouragement and support I received from all of my supporters and I will always appreciate that for all of my life.”
Turning to San Ramon’s northern neighbor, Danville incumbents held a substantial lead on Election Night.
Stepper sat as the top vote-getter with 45.46% of the vote as of early Wednesday morning. Following closely was fellow council member Storer -- who co-hosted an election viewing party with her -- who took 41.54% of the vote.
Challenger and political newcomer Ram Namburi held a distant third in the race obtaining 12.28% of reported votes. While his proclaimed running mate, write in-candidate Jami Tucker, trailed the pack garnering 0.72% of initial results.
“We ran a solid clean election, we did all of the right things. We had a message, we had a vision, we set out and kept strong about all of the things that are positive about Danville. Because frankly when we drive home we love the same things that each of you do,” Storer told his supporters after his lead was announced. “Each of us on this council plan on doing this for awhile and we have everyone's best interests at heart and we will continue this.”
“We think we still have a lot of things we want to accomplish in Danville and that's why we chose to run again,” added Stepper. “Everyone has their own passion they bring to the floor and we have a lot more to do.”
Voting by mail is by far the preferred method of civic engagement for Contra Costa County residents, this year nearly 70% of the county’s 602,000 registered voters received a vote-by-mail ballot, according to Joe Canciamilla, county registrar of voters.
The unofficial election results include early vote-by-mail tallies and totals reported by the precincts on Election Night. The election figures will likely change in the coming days as final vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots and other qualifying ballots are processed, according to the California Secretary of State.