Photo courtesy of Metro Creative.

With the candidate nomination period now closed, California gears up for the June 5 midterm primary election, and deadlines for Contra Costa County residents to register and submit mail-in ballots are right around the corner.

The vote-by-mail mailing will commence May 7. The walk-in voter registration deadline is May 21, with the last day to submit mail-in ballots on May 29. 

While offices for state governor, secretary of state and treasurer are open, on a local level, East County residents will also consider new candidates for the 9th Congressional District and the 11th Assembly District – currently held by Rep. Jerry McNerney and Assemblymember Jim Frazier, respectively. Both are seeking re-election. 

“Californians deserve comprehensive 21st century water-management solutions in light of climate change and more frequent and devastating droughts – not a decades old plan that creates no benefit and picks the pockets of hard-working people,” Frazier wrote in a press release in regard to one of his touchstone campaign issues, the twin tunnels plan that would send Delta water to Southern California.

Listed on his website among many issues – including water, energy, education, immigration and more – McNerney notes agriculture and farm families as the backbone of the nation.

“I have met with numerous farmers, ranchers and growers from across our area. Many of the people I’ve met want to pass their businesses to their children but are worried that the estate tax could make that dream impossible,” McNerney wrote. “That’s why I introduced a bill to lessen the burden of the estate tax on family farms and small businesses so that they stay in family hands.”

McNerney’s opponents include Marla Livengood, (republican) agriculture policy advisor, and Mike A. Tsarnas, (American independent) rancher and business owner. Candidates running against Frazier are Lisa Romero, (republican) nurse and educator, and Diane Stewart, (democratic) current Byron Union School District Board of Trustees vice president.

Other East County offices up for election this midterm include the county assessor, auditor, clerk, district attorney, sheriff/coroner, treasurer/tax collector and superintendent of schools. However, some of those positions are unopposed. 

Ayore Riaunda, Navy Reservist, will run against incumbent Robert Campbell for auditor. 

The district attorney incumbent, Diana Becton, was appointed to vacancy and sworn in September 2017. Becton will run against Paul Graves, supervising district attorney, and Lawrence Steven Strauss, small business owner and lawyer. 

Replacing the outgoing Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata, three candidates will vie for her seat this June. Among them are Ron Leone, district assistant superintendent, Cheryl Hansen, educator and school board member, and Lynn Mackey, deputy superintendent. 

“It is one of the great honors of my life to be associated with the Contra Costa County Office of Education and particularly serving as county superintendent,” said Sakata upon announcing her planned retirement last August.

Current Contra Costa measures on the ballot are city-specific to areas such as Richmond, Pinole and Martinez, but one measure will impact the whole of the Bay Area. Regional Measure 3 Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan aims to reduce vehicular traffic, relieve crowding on BART, improve bus service and more with toll increases by increments of $1 effective 2019, 2022 and 2025. These tolls would impact all Bay Area bridges with the exception of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

For more information on the upcoming election, visit To view a complete list of candidates running for all open offices in California, visit