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2018 midterm election guide: several local positions need to be voted upon

First Congressional District candidates answer questions at an open forum held at Chico State on April 30. (Left to Right) Jessica Holcombe(D), Marty Walters (D), Gregory Cheadle (R), David Peterson (D), Lewis Elbinger (D) and Audrey Denney (D) Photo credit: Carly Maxstone

On June 5, all California counties including Butte County will be holding midterm election primaries. Registered voters will be able to vote on twelve different positions that range from the overall state level to their own respective counties.

Statewide Politics

The race for the governor is the most notable and possibly the most important part of the midterms. According to Ballotpedia, there are as many as 27 candidates running for governor: 12 Democrats, five Republicans, two Green Party candidates, two Libertarian candidates and one Peace and Freedom Party candidate.

A Public Policy Institute of California poll stated that there are seven front-runners for the governor’s seat.

Top Republicans:

  • Travis Allen – Three-term Republican assemblyman from Orange County.
  • John Cox – Attorney and certified public accountant in Chicago. Now living in California.

Top Democrats:

  • Delaine Eastin – California superintendent of public instruction from 1995 to 2003. The only woman to ever be elected as state superintendent.
  • Gavin Newsom – California’s lieutenant governor since 2011
  • Amanda Renteria – Political director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
  • Michael Shellenberger – Founder and President of Environmental Progress, an environmental research and advocacy organization in Berkeley
  • Antonio Villaraigosa – Former mayor of Los Angeles from 2005 to 2013.

Local Politics

Butte County is located in Congressional District 1. There are seven other full counties in this district including Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama. There are also three counties that partially fall within CD-1’s boundaries including part of Glenn, Nevada and Placer.

The current representative of CD-1 is Doug LaMalfa, a Republican that has represented this district since 2012.

There are currently seven candidates that are running against LaMalfa in the upcoming primary: four Democrats, two Republicans and one Green Party member.


  • Audrey Denney – Former Chico State student and professor of Agriculture.
  • Jessica Holcombe – Business Attorney in Auburn.
  • David Peterson – UC Davis graduate with a masters in Business Administration.
  • Marty Walters – Risk officer and professional level violinist.


  • Doug LaMalfa – Incumbent
  • Gregory Cheadle – Real Estate Agent who describes himself as an “1865 Republican.”

Green Party:

  • Lewis Elbinger – Retired diplomatic officer with 28 years of experience in international management and conflict resolution.

While most registered voters in Butte County probably know about the above two elections, there are 10 other positions that need to be filled this upcoming election.

  • Judges of the Superior Court
  • Assessor
  • County-Clerk Recorder
  • Sheriff-Coroner
  • County Superintendent of Schools
  • Auditor-Controller
  • District Attorney
  • Treasurer-Tax Collector
  • Butte County Supervisor District 2
  • Butte County Supervisor District 3

Judges of the Superior Court:

In Butte County Superior Court judges are elected for six-year terms. Often, the Governor fills vacancies on the superior court by appointment.

Candidates for the positions have not been released yet.


The role of the Butte County Assessor is to:

  • Locate and identify all taxable property in the county.
  • Establish taxable value for all property subject to property taxation.
  • Complete the assessment roll showing the assessed values of all properties.
  • Apply all legal exemptions.

According to Butte County’s official website, “the Assessor also “keeps track of ownership changes, maintains maps of parcel boundaries, updates property descriptions and physical characteristics.”


  • Diane Brown – Incumbent
  • Randall Stone – Chico City Council member

County-Clerk Recorder:

The County-Clerk recorder’s role in Butte County is to preserve the public’s records in a secure and accessible environment. The department is split up into three divisions that consist of the County-Clerk recorder, Archives and Elections divisions.


  • Candace Grubbs – Incumbent


The Coroner’s office is responsible for investigating the cause, manner and circumstances of certain types of deaths such as:

  • Unattended deaths
  • The deceased has not been attended by a physician in the 20 days prior to death
  • Physician unable to state the cause of death
  • Known or suspected homicide


  • Kory Honea – Incumbent

County Superintendent of Schools:

The superintendent of schools oversees the education of students in the Butte County area. The position is currently held by Tim Taylor, but will not be seeking re-election.


  • Mary Sakuma – Former superintendent of Durham Unified School District.


The role of the Auditor-Controller is to provide effective fiscal monitoring, reporting and the safeguarding of public resources to the people of Butte County.


  • Graciela Cano Gutirerrez – Assistant Auditor-Controller
  • Kathryn Mathes – CPA and Accounting Manager

District Attorney:

The District Attorney’s mission is “to do justice, as no one is above the law nor beneath its protection,” according to the Butty County mission statement page.


  • Mike Ramsey – Incumbent

Treasurer-Tax Collector:

The Treasurer-Tax Collectors department is responsible for the collection of cash and management of revenue owed to the County, cities, special districts, and the court system. Assuring the effective utilization of the public’s tax dollars.


  • Troy Kidd – Banking Executive

Butte County Supervisor District 2:

The Butte County Supervisors consists of five districts that serve as the governing body for the entire county. In this primary, only two of the five districts are being elected.

They oversee and exercise the legislative, administrative and appellate powers prescribed to it.

In its legislative role, the Board may adopt ordinances and rules, both to control the administration of County government and to regulate public conduct within the unincorporated areas of the County.

Using Chico State as a landmark, marked in the circle, district 2 consists of everything mainly north, west and south and southwest of the campus.

Screenshot (5)_LI.jpg
Chico State marked on the map. Photo credit: Butte County


  • Debra Lucero – Businesswoman/Consultant
  • Larry Wahl – Incumbent

Butty County Supervisor District 3:

This district consists of everything east of Downtown as marked in the circle.

Screenshot (6)_LI.jpg


  • Tami Ritter – Mediator/Counselor
  • Norm Rosene – Business Owner
  • Bob Evans – Businessman/ Business Consultant

Make sure to register to vote and to look up local voting places.

Roberto Fonseca can be reached at [email protected] or @rjfonseca13 on Twitter.

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