After a 16-year tenure, incumbent County Supervisor Fernando Armenta may be leaving his District 1 throne without a final fight. Instead, he is letting ballots speak for themselves.
On June 28, the final votes were tabulated at the Monterey County Elections Department and showed Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, leading the three-way race against Armenta and Salinas City Councilman Tony Barrera with 50.19 percent of the vote.
A definitive victory for Alejo at the June 7 primary election requires 50-percent plus one vote. As of the final count, he had 50 percent plus 16 votes, allowing him to claim victory and avoid a November runoff.
Alejo credits his door-to-door approach to courting voters as the reason for his campaign’s success. But Armenta, who earned 25 percent of the vote, says Alejo made a “mockery out of district elections” by running a dirty campaign against him.
“I would never run a negative campaign against another Latino candidate like he did,” Armenta says. “I will leave a different legacy.”
That legacy, Armenta adds, will also mean honoring the vote count, close as it is. He says he will not request a recount; the vote will be certified by July 7 by Claudio Valenzuela, Monterey County registrar of voters.
Still, don’t expect Armenta to call Alejo and congratulate him: “I would not concede to him, ever,” Armenta says. “I will not give him the satisfaction.”
Valenzuela says recounts are an uncommon request. Despite the close margin for this race, the county will not initiate a recount.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the most updated vote count. As of final count Wednesday night, Luis Alejo has 50.19 percent of vote.