Wednesday update: Kings County Supervisor Richard Valle posted a convincing win over challenger Ron Hoggard to claim a second term.
Valle received 61% of the vote compared to 39% for Hoggard, according to the Kings County elections division, with five of five precincts reporting.
Wednesday, Valle credited his win to his opposition to a planned high-speed rail line through Kings County and sympathy with west-side voters who fear disruptions to agricultural water supplies.
The victory grants Valle, 42, a second chance at a political future that was threatened in late 2010 when criminal charges alleging sexual assault were filed against him, only to be dropped earlier this year in advance of the June primary.
The dismissal allowed Valle to say he was moving on, and Hoggard never directly attacked Valle on the charges.
Valle represents District 2, including Corcoran, Avenal, Kettleman City and much of southern Kings County.
A look at early developments Tuesday night in key South Valley election races:
Richard Valle ahead in Kings supervisor race
In the Kings County supervisor District 2 race, early results show incumbent Richard Valle holding off challenger Ron Hoggard in his bid for a second term.
Valle was ahead 59% to Hoggard 41% in vote-by-mail precincts.
Valle, 42, had to fight for his political life after being charged with sexual assault stemming from a 2010 incident at his home in Corcoran, only to have the charges dropped.
Valle campaigned heavily on an anti-high-speed rail platform.
Tulare City Council
In the race for Tulare City Council, Craig Vejvoda appeared to be defeating Wayne Ross in District 5. With two of six precincts reporting, Vejvoda has 41% to Ross 48%.
Both are incumbents who were forced to face each other after Tulare switched to district elections.
Also in Tulare, in District 3, former council member Carlton Jones was ahead with two of five precincts reporting. He had 33% of the vote against Cheyne Strawn 27%, Alberto Aguilar 21% and Scott Daley 17%.
Hanford City Council
In Area B in Hanford, in early results Russ Curry had 64% to Robin Mattos 35%.
In Area C, Gary L. Pannett had 34% to Mike Spicer 33%, Douglas Soper 18% and Meik Head 15%.
Visalia Measure P
In Visalia, Measure P, put on the ballot by the Visalia City Council to change the city charter, was going down 59% to 41% in early results. The measure proposes changing council member elections from citywide to district elections.
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