DeMartini, who was first elected as supervisor in 2004, said he was glad that constituents expressed confidence in him to serve for another term. Overall, he garnered 3,666 votes compared to Padilla’s 2,316, with all precincts counted early Wednesday.
“I look forward to serving the district for another four years,” DeMartini said. “As always, people can count on me to work hard.”
DeMartini said he felt confident after visiting 5,500 homes that he still had the district’s support, and he felt he voted correctly on issues impacting the district.
Padilla, a 32-year-old water resources engineer and former city council candidate in Ceres, gave kudos to DeMartini for his hard-fought campaign.
Though he said DeMartini spent far more than he did on his campaign — between Jan. 1 and March 17, DeMartini had spent $29,696 compared to $1,925 for Padilla — he still said his opponent deserved his win.
“It’s hard to compete with the finances that he has, but that doesn’t take anything away (from his win),” he said. “I know he was walking door to door.”
Padilla said he looks forward to seeing the breakdown of the votes, adding that he thinks he probably won a few precincts. He said he planned to take some time off from public service and spend time with his family before making any decisions about future plans. However, he said he may try to seek some board positions with an agency such as the East Stanislaus Regional Water Management Partnership or an accounting board or possibly some position with Stanislaus County or the City of Ceres.
“Maybe, I’ll have to go that route to have some kind of track record before I can actually get elected,” he said.
Meanwhile, DeMartini plans to stay busy in the months ahead. He said he wants to work on a groundwater element that would prohibit pumping groundwater from anywhere within the county and selling it outside the county. Though that has not happened thus far, Modesto Irrigation District is seeking to sell its irrigation water to the city of San Francisco.
DeMartini is also working to revise agricultural preservation policies through the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission, on which he serves as a board member. The revisions would require cities to create their own agricultural mitigation plan if they wish to expand their sphere of influence. Under that plan, they would need to permanently preserve at least one acre of farmland for every acre that is developed.
Finally, he said development of Crows Landing’s former naval airbase will continue to be a major issue. DeMartini has been an avid opponent of developer Gerry Kamilos’ PCCP West Park proposal, which would turn the former airfield and surrounding land into an inland rail hub for the Port of Oakland and an industrial park with a solar facility. However, he supports development of the airfield into some kind of job center.
“We still want a good project at that airbase,” he said.
• Contact Jonathan Partridge at 892-6187, ext. 26, or email@example.com.