After a taking a sizable lead throughout the night, unofficial results show Riverdale rancher Buddy Mendes was falling just shy from clinching the Fresno County Board of Supervisors District 4 race.
The Riverdale Joint Unified trustee led the primary with 49.3% of the vote ahead of four other hopefuls vying for the seat. He needed 50% plus one to cinch the deal, but didn't lock it down after all of the precinct ballots were in. An unknown number of ballots are left to be counted, but it appears that Mendes is headed to a November runoff with Daniel Parra, a computer systems analyst who got 21.6% of the votes.
"I'd like to get 52% of the rest, then it's over," Mendes said early in the night from a campaign party in Riverdale. "I should be excited, shouldn't I?"
The three other candidates -- Magdalena Gomez, Steve Rapada and Amandip Singh Gill -- were far behind by the end of the night.
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Meanwhile, family farmer Brian Pacheco and Blong Xiong, former Fresno City Council president, pulled ahead in the District 1 supervisors race and will face off in a November runoff. Pacheco had 37.2% to Xiong's 35.6%.
Xiong said reaching out the southeast Asian, Punjabi and African American communities helped him get votes. Pacheco did not answer phone messages left by The Bee late Tuesday.
Gary Yep, John Flores and Frank Maldonado shared the remaining votes.
In other races:
Incumbent County Assessor-Recorder Paul Dictos handily defeated challenger Mike Goossen, a newcomer who'd won the backing of Supervisors Debbie Poochigian and Phil Larson and county auditor-controller/treasurer-tax collector Vicki Crow. Dictos snagged 66.7% of the counted vote.
In the county schools superintendent race, incumbent Jim Yovino beat his only opponent, Juan Sandoval, with 66.3% of the votes. It's the first race for Yovino, who was appointed last year to replace retiring schools leader Larry Powell.