Tulare County Supervisor Races Brings in Fresh Faces

Amy Shuklian and her campaign manager Karen Tellalian celebrated with supporters at the Vintage Press on Tuesday night.
Amy Shuklian and her campaign manager Karen Tellalian celebrated with supporters at the Vintage Press on Tuesday night.

Tensions were high as all of the local candidates waited patiently for the election returns Tuesday night. Initial results came out at 8:15, with the absentee vote, and those results remained consistent throughout the night.

Visalia City Council woman Amy Shuklian won over Tulare County Supervisor Phil Cox by ten points and was the winner of the race for Tulare County Supervisor seat for District 3. She celebrated her victory with family and friends at the Vintage Press.

When asked about her ten point lead soon after the first summary report was revealed–the mail-in ballots–Shuklian said, “It feels good. I’m not calling it yet, now the precincts will come in, but it’s important to get that early lead.”

When it was over, Shuklian said, “From day one, from when I first announced in July, I knew it was going to be a tough race.”  Shuklian said that her campaign raised money from 250 donors giving anything from five dollars to thousands.

“I out-campaigned him,” she said. “I kept it clean, stuck to the issues, and let people know why I was the better candidate.”

Shuklian’s campaign included identifying high-propensity voters and stated with walking the districts. High-propensity voters are those who have voted in the last four of five elections. Out of the 13,800 likely voters, her campaign crew knocked on 8,008 doors and spoke to 4,712 residents face to face. Of those residents, 51% said they were voting for her. She was grateful for the victory but it was not unexpected.

“We walked, walked more and walked some more,” said Shuklian.

Her staff started walking precincts in the rain in January and ended in the 108 degree heat last weekend. “I campaigned until 8pm tonight,” she said.

In Tulare County, in the Supervisor District 1race, Dennis Smith found himself as the winner, with 23% of the vote. Kyler Crocker finished second, with 19.1%.

Smith felt that the support he got from the community was what pushed him over the top. He said that most of his campaign consisted of face to face encounters and sending out mailers, all personally signed by him. Smith was not surprised by his strong performance in the election. He feels that throughout the entire campaign he held a strong position among the other candidates and that he gave a strong performance at each forum. “I gave well thought out and thorough answers,” he said.

Smith said he ran a very frugal campaign and is ready for the general election.

Kuyler Crocker said that he was very humbled by the support he received throughout the campaign. Like Smith, he was not surprised to make it through to the general election. “If I didn’t think I was qualified or had the experience necessary I wouldn’t have run.”

“In the last six months I’ve met with a lot of great people, from farmers, families and small businesses and received their support.” Crocker said the fight continues for more water, more water storage, clean drinking water for all families, sufficient resources for law enforcement to fight gangs and creating more jobs.

As of publication time, Republican Assemblyman Devon Mathis was clearly leading the pack in the Assembly District 26 race, with second place too close to call between rival Republican candidate Rudy Mendoza and Tulare County Democratic Central Committee Chair Ruben Macareno.

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