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Election Recap: Locals Support Cigarette Tax, Education, Friend and Leopold

Schools got major support from voters, although just 28.32 percent of those registered went to the polls.

Yes, lawns across the county have been littered with campaign signs for numerous names vying for county supervisor seats. But Tuesday's decision day was about more than just electing people — it was ultimately a huge victory for local education.

A total of 41,606 ballots were cast in the county. With 146,936 registered voters, that's just 28.32 percent that made their voices heard on Tuesday. To see the .

All four measures passed easily, including the parcel taxes for the Santa Cruz High School District (78.95 percent), Santa Cruz City Schools (81.19 percent) and Scotts Valley Unified School District (76 percent). Measure C, which allows the West Valley-Mission Community College District to borrow $350 million earned 58.43 percent of the local vote. 

Local voters reflected the rest of the state on Proposition 28, which decreases California State Legislature terms from 14 to 12 years. Locally, the proposition was supported 63.59 percent of voters. Statewide, it passed 61.4 percent of the vote. 

Proposition 29, however, saw local voters considerably more supportive than the rest of California. According to the Desert Sun, the proposition, which would add a $1 tax to cigarette purchases, is still too close to call. The early indication is that the proposition is being opposed by a margin of just 64,000 out of 3.8 million votes in the state. Locally however, the proposition was supported with 63.88 percent of the vote.

Voters in the 1st District (Davenport, Santa Cruz, Live Oak, Soquel and some of Capitola) overwhelmingly chose to reelect John Leopold as county supervisor. He garnered 70.31 percent of the vote (5,841 of 8,307 total). Coming in a distant second was Gary Richard Arnold, whose 1,541 votes were good for 18.55 percent.

on the board of supervisors. Facing four opponents in the race to represent the area encompassing half of Capitola, Aptos and part of Watsonville, Friend needed at least 50 percent of the vote to avoid a run-off against the second place finisher in November. He squeezed through with 57.17 percent (5,097 of 8,915 total) while Daniel "Check-it-for" Beckett trailed with 20.49 percent (1,874 votes).

In the 5th District (Scotts Valley, Boulder Creek, Felton, Ben Lomond), Bruce McPherson couldn't quite accomplish what Friend eked out. His 49.48 percent of the vote puts him in a , who tallied 38.11 percent of the total 10,243 votes. 

For the State Assembly, Mark Stone (60.64 percent) and Tom Walsh (25.71 percent) will run against each other in the 29th District seat, while Luis Alejo (63.10 percent) and Rob Bernosky (36.26 percent) will face off in the 30th District in November. 

Lastly, Bill Monning pulled in 73.42 percent of the local vote for the newly-open 17th District State Senate seat. He will face Larry Beaman in November. Beaman garnered just 26.37 percent of the primary vote.  

What do you think of the results? Do you support the cigarette tax? How about all the parcel taxes? Tell us in the comments!

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