Assemblymember Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, started Election Night by winning 68% of counted votes (108,053) in his campaign for reelection in the State Assembly’s 9th District, which includes Galt.

He led his Republican opponent Eric Rigard by more than 56,000 votes, as of Nov. 10. The California Secretary of State’s Office reported that Rigard had 32% of the vote that day.

The State Assembly’s 9th district spans from south Sacramento County to north San Joaquin County, and includes Elk Grove, Lodi and Galt.

Cooper was elected to the Assembly in 2014 after serving in the Elk Grove City Council for 14 years. Cooper’s campaign spokesperson Skyler Wonnacott said they are proud of the election results. He noted their campaign’s challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“2020 has been a difficult year for campaign work,” Wonnacott said. “We switched from door-to-door canvassing to doing more peer-to-peer texting as well as phone banking.”

Rigard was a first-time political candidate when he finished second in the March primary and qualified to run in the November general election. The Elk Grove resident leads the public awareness ministry at the Calvary Christian Center.

On Nov. 4, Rigard told Herburger staff that he was considering another run for public office. He mentioned that he was studying precincts where he did well in the November election. The candidate said that he has a “clear picture” of the Assembly district and its constituents.

“I’m a little disheartened by it,” Rigard said about the election results. “But I raise my head and I can see my way to get a win there – that’s a great consequence. I’m pushing forward for another day, and next time we’re going to win.”

Rigard said that he is still focused on the State Assembly, but he’s open to running for another office.

Other races

In the District 5 race of the California State Senate, Senator Cathleen Galgiani has termed out, opening the door for a newcomer to fill her seat up at the capital. State Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) answered the call as did former Modesto Mayor Jim Ridenour (R). The two received the most votes during the primaries last spring.

At the time of the first election results announcement, Eggman took a substantial lead over Ridenour, with Eggman claiming 55% of the votes. With subsequent reporting, Eggman increased her lead.

As of Nov. 10, Eggman had 153,111 (57%) votes, while Ridenour sat at 117,330 (43%) votes

Eggman has been a member of the State Assembly since 2012 and has served on the Stockton City Council.

After the announcement of the initial votes, Eggman addressed the public via a social media platform.

“Health care, education, our environment remains incredibly important and we need to continue to work on things like that,” Eggman said election night. “And here locally, our water is always going to be at the top of our list, in addition to increasing our economic vitality.”

Ridenour is a retired paramedic, reserve deputy sheriff in Stanislaus County and served as vice president of operations for Northern California Division of American Medical Response.

The 5th District includes Galt; all of San Joaquin County, including Escalon, Lathrop, Lodi, Manteca, Ripon, Stockton and Tracy; and parts of Stanislaus County, including Riverbank and most of Modesto.

In the U.S. Congressional 9th District race, incumbent Jerry McNerney began election night with an early lead over challenger Antonio C. “Tony” Amador (R).

As of Nov. 10, McNerney leads Amador by over 41,000 votes. McNerney has 126,573 (60%) votes and Amador checks in at 84,597 (40%).

McNerney has represented the district since January 2013 after redistricting shifted his seat from Congressional District 11.

McNerney began his political career in 2006 after defeating incumbent Richard Pombo in California’s 11th Congressional District. McNerney kept his seat in the 2008 and 2010 elections.

After redistricting, McNerney ran a successful campaign in 2012 to secure him as the newly aligned California’s 9th Congressional District representative.

Amador faced off with McNerney for the congressional seat in 2014 and 2016 only to fall short in both attempts. Amador did not seek to challenge McNerney in 2018.

County elections offices are expected to submit their final vote counts to the Secretary of State’s Office by Dec. 1.