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Tri-Valley local election roundup

Incumbents' solid night in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin; Measure U defeated

Voters backed recognizable faces throughout the Tri-Valley during the general election, with every competing city incumbent scoring a victory on Election Night across Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin.

Meanwhile, two elected seats with only challengers left in the races -- the second available City Council position in Livermore and Dublin -- remained too close to call with margins of under 350 votes each.

In Pleasanton, Councilwoman Kathy Narum led the way with 32.75% of the vote for re-election, marking her second and final full term on the dais where she has sat since winning a special mail-only election to fill a vacant seat in May 2013.

Narum came into Election Night seen as a considerable favorite for re-election, a recognizable and well-liked councilwoman with years of city service experience between the council, Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission.

That essentially left three newcomers competing for the second council position up for grabs -- the seat currently held by Arne Olson, who opted not to run for re-election. And challenger Julie Testa, a vocal slow-growth advocate and 2016 mayoral candidate, finished comfortably in the No. 2 spot, better than 1,300 votes ahead of fellow challengers Joe Streng and Joseph Ledoux on Election Night.

Testa (at 26.26%) will bring a second slow-growth voice to the dais, joining second-term Councilwoman Karla Brown -- who backed Testa's campaign. She also had prior city service experience, having sat on the Human Services Commission from 1995 to 2007.

Rounding out Election Night were Streng, a former Parks and Recreation Commission member, in third with 20.59% and fourth-place Ledoux, a Berkeley police officer who lives in Pleasanton, with 20.05%.

Jerry Thorne confirmed his re-election as Pleasanton mayor -- more of a formality on Election Night since he was on the ballot unopposed. He finished with 94.65%, with write-in candidates receiving the other votes.

"It is an honor to be able to serve this great community for another two years. We have a lot to accomplish, and I am confident that this council will be very productive," Thorne said.

This will be Thorne's fourth and final two-year term as mayor, under the city's term limits. He has more than 23 years of city service experience under his belt, with time as mayor, City Council member and Parks and Recreation Commission member.

In Livermore, Mayor John Marchand dominated his re-election bid with 75.79% of the vote, as of the final count released by Alameda County election officials at 2 a.m. Wednesday. Lone challenger Joshua Laine, owner of Valor Winery in Livermore, had 23.40%.

With two seats up for grabs for City Council, Livermore voters preferred incumbent Bob Woerner (30.28%) to retain his position on the dais.

For the second seat, available with Councilman Steven Spedowfski not seeking re-election, sociologist and former Livermore Shakespeare Festival board member Trish Munro (20.05%) held a 340-vote lead over Planning Commissioner Neal Pann (18.79%).

The remaining challengers were chief technology officer Alan "Brent" Siler (16.96%) and estate planning attorney Rosmary Bartsch (13.63%), who did not actively campaign but was backed last-minute by The Independent.

Livermore voters also shot down the Measure U health care initiative, with 82.47% voting No compared to only 17.53% voting Yes.

The ballot measure sought to overhaul health care in the city by limiting medical care prices charged by providers to 15% above "the reasonable cost of direct patient care" -- and it tasks the city government with making sure that happens with each patient at every provider, large-scale or small, in Livermore.

The measure was spearheaded by the Service Employees International Union, United Health Workers (SEIU-UHW). The opposition campaign featured a coalition of health care providers, hospital staff and volunteers, and Livermore civic leaders, among others.

The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District had three seats up for election, with incumbents Craig Bueno and Anne White finishing first and second, respectively, and challenger Emily Prusso coming in third.

Challengers Dave Vonheeder and Chung Bothwell placed fourth and sixth, respectively. Kate Runyon was the only Tri-Valley local incumbent to lose a re-election bid, finishing fifth.

In Dublin, Mayor David Haubert finished comfortably ahead sitting Councilman Arun Goel for the mayoral post. The totals stood at 59.91% for Haubert and 39.26% for Goel.

The Dublin City Council had two seats open for election without incumbents Abe Gupta and Janine Thalblum in the race. Finishing easily in the top spot to become a new council member was educator Jean Josey (32.24%).

Leading for the No. 2 spot at the end of Election Night was consultant/Navy Reservist Shawn Kumagai (21.62%), holding a 344-vote lead over slow-growth candidate Bobby Khullar (18.99%).

The other challengers were retired state accounting officer Jing Firmeza (17.26%) and perennial candidate Shawn Costello (9.50%).

This marked the first district-based election for the Dublin Unified School District, and both incumbents had a comfortable Election Night.

For Trustee Area 2, incumbent Megan Rouse had 70.95% of the vote and challenger Erin Herrera had 28.30%. For Trustee Area 5, incumbent Dan Cherrier had 66.50% and challenger Dominic Piegaro had 32.77%.

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.

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