Merced County Times Newspaper
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These local candidates will be on the March 5 primary ballot

Congressional District 13

This is a rematch between first-term Rep. John Duarte, a Republican from Modesto, and Adam Gray, a Democrat and former State Assembly member for this region. In 2022, Duarte narrowly won against Gray by 564 votes out of over 133,000 ballots cast.

District 13 stretches across five counties, including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera and Fresno.

Merced County is a key component in the race. All of the county is included in District 13, and voters here make up more than one-third of the registered voters within the district boundaries.


State Assembly District 27

Incumbent Esmeralda Soria, a Democrat in her first term, will face challenger Joanna Garcia Rose, a Republican from Atwater. Rose is a tax auditor for the California Employment Development Department. District 27 stretches from Livingston to Fresno.


Supervisor District 1

Merced County Supervisor Rodrigo Espinoza is seeking re-election in District 1 — covering Le Grand, Planada, El Nido, a small portion of south Merced, Livingston, and Santa Nella. Espinoza faces three

challengers: Jim Pacheco, a retired sheriff’s deputy; Maria Soto, a current member of the Livingston City Council; and Sonia Fernanda Alshami, a business owner.


Supervisor District 2

Incumbent Merced County Supervisor Josh Pedrozo is running for re-election to a second term in District 2, which includes most of the City of Merced and UC Merced. He faces Annissa L. Fragoso, a Merced insurance agent and president of the Merced County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


Supervisor District 4

Incumbent Merced County Supervisor Lloyd Pareira is running for re-election in District 4, which includes Snelling, Winton, Hilmar, Delhi and Gustine. There are two challengers in the race: Dennis J. Brazil, a former mayor of Gustine; and Jim Soria, a former mayor of Livingston.


Superior Court Judge

As mentioned in the story on the front page of this Times edition, Monika Saini-Donabed, Regina Adams, and Carlos Dammeier are all running for an open bench seat at Merced County Superior Court. Saini-Donabed and Adams are both local attorneys, whereas Dammeier is an attorney from Southern California and works as a state administrative law judge for the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.


The aforementioned Congressional and State Assembly races will appear on the Marcy primary ballot, but the races will continue to the November general election.

The District 2 Merced County Supervisor race — with two candidates facing off — will be decided in March. In the other supervisor races (with more than two candidates): If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one of the votes in a district election, the Top Two garnering the most votes will continue to a runoff election in November.

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