GUSTINE - Incumbent Loretta Rose has turned back challenger Andrew Bloom to successfully retain the Area 4 seat on the Gustine Unified School District Board of Trustees.

The updated vote tally also showed Zachery Ramos extending his lead over Dennis Brazil in the election to fill the Area 3 board seat.

While the election results updated Nov. 12 remain unofficial, they reflect all but a very small percentage of the more than 90,000 ballots cast in Merced County - representing a nearly 77 percent voter turnout.

The latest update shows Rose defeating Bloom by a 287-259 margin in the Area 4 race.

Ramos holds a 403-223 advantage over Brazil in the Area 3 race.

Rose has served on the school board since 2007, and stated when embarking on her re-election campaign that she wants to continue her work on the district’s governing body.

A renewed emphasis on and expansion of vocational education programs, as well as continued efforts to upgrade facilities, are among her goals for the district, Rose told Mattos Newspapers in September.

“The whole district wants success for our students,” she reflected. “What I want to do is (what is) best for our district.....students, facilities, staff. If something needs to be fixed, let’s fix it. Don’t Band-Aid it any more.”

Ramos, a 2017 Gustine High graduate, has also earned a seat on the school board.

His priorities for local schools, Ramos said in September, include making sure that the needs of all children are met, and that schools promote career opportunities in the trades as well as college opportunities. “I want every student who graduates want to excel at something, whether it is school or a trade,” Ramos told Mattos Newspapers.

Santa Nella County Water District

Voters in the Santa Nella County Water District filled three seats on the agency’s governing board. Five candidates ran for election.

Stephen Landry, the only incumbent in the field, was the leading vote-getter at 224. Wayne Tallman (192) and Debra Sedillo (170) also won election, according to the unofficial results. Michael Fairbanks was a close fourth with 159 votes, and Susan Walker stood at 133.

Central California Irrigation District

The latest tally showed challenger Chris Medeiros defeating incumbent Chris Fagundes 444-120 in the race for the Division 3 seat on the Central California Irrigation District Board of Directors.

Barbara Levey, Merced County registrar of voters, reported that at the time of the Nov. 12 update election workers were still processing 1,700 provisional/conditional ballots, an unspecified number of ballots awaiting signature verification from the voter and timely-cast ballots which continued to arrive in the mail.

Levey said she did not anticipate another tabulation update until Friday, Nov. 20, at which time it is expected that all provisional/conditional ballots will be processed and included in the tally. Friday is also the final day that mailed ballots can be accepted - with the provision that they must be postmarked no later than Nov. 3.

The county must certify the election results no later than Dec. 3.