Democratic incumbent Jim Cooper of Elk Grove made it to the top spot of the California Assembly’s District 9 primaries as of March 6. The former Elk Grove City Council member will advance to the November election when he’ll run for a fourth term.

Cooper won 43.7 percent of the vote, according the California Secretary of State’s March 10 results. Mail-in and provisional ballots were still being counted, as of press time. The next round of results are scheduled to be announced after press time on March 6.

Cooper told Herburger staff on election night that he found the election results to be “very humbling.”

The top two candidates in this primary will compete in the November election, regardless of party affiliation.

At second place is Republican Eric Rigard, a first-time political candidate who won 32.4 percent of the vote, based on the latest count.

“I am very pleased, number one, that I’m able to come in at second like that with basically no name recognition,” he told Herburger staff on March 3.

Democrat Tracie Stafford is currently at third place with 21.1 percent and Democrat Mushtaq Tahirkheil is trailing far behind her at 2.8 percent.

Stafford, who ran for mayor of Elk Grove in 2018, told her supporters on Facebook that she’s optimistic. She noted on March 3 that 60,000 ballots remained to be counted.

“Stay tuned,” Stafford wrote. “This should be a nail biter!”

Assembly District 9 extends from south Sacramento to Lodi, and includes Galt.

During his March 3 interview, Cooper talked about his successes in securing state funding for programs across his district. He mentioned the $4 million that he secured last year for a permanent home for the Elk Grove Food Bank, $5 million to support homeless shelters in south Sacramento, and $500,000 to boost security for the city of Lodi’s computer systems.

“It’s about taking care of my district,” Cooper said.

The incumbent’s potential opponent, Rigard, told Herburger staff that he will now meet more people and get his name out more in the public eye.

“The more people I talk to, the more people get to see the way I see things,” he said.

Rigard said that his campaign would continue focusing on issues such as affordable senior housing, school choice, water and homelessness.

This Elk Grove resident leads the public awareness ministry at the Calvary Christian Center.

Asked about his competition with Cooper, Rigard replied, “I don’t think there’s going to be mudslinging, but there will be a clear view of my positions on things and Jim’s positions on things. People will have a true choice and be able to make up their minds on which way to go.”

In other races

(as of March 10)

Front-runners for California Congressional District 9 are incumbent Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) with 55.1 percent of the votes and Antonio C. “Tony” Amador (R) with 29.8 percent. If the spread stays the same, McNerney and Amador will face off in November. Also in the primary was William Martinek (R) who earned 14 percent of votes.

The 9th Congressional District includes parts of San Joaquin, Contra Costa and Sacramento counties, including Galt.

State Senator Cathleen Galgiani, representing District 5, has termed out. Five candidates surfaced for the primaries vying for her seat. Taking the lead as of March 6 is Susan Talamantes Eggman (D) who earned 31.5 percent of the votes, followed by Jim Ridenour (R) with 28.1 percent, Mani Grewal (D) with 18.3 percent, Jesus Andrade (R) with 16.3 percent and Kathleen A. Garcia (R) with 5.8 percent. If numbers stay consistent, Talamantes Eggman will face Ridenour in November.

State Senate District 5 includes all of San Joaquin County and portions of Stanislaus and Sacramento counties, including Galt.