Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian ELECTION RETURNS Maria Orozco (from right), Watsonville Mayor Pro Tempore, joins Supervisor Felipe Hernandez and others at a Yes on Measure N reception at the newly opened Public House in Watsonville on election night.

As election results continued to roll in Tuesday night, Measure N came out swinging, with 69.9% of voters approving it.

That number had dipped to 68.5% early Wednesday morning just barely making the required two-thirds supermajority.

Measure N would provide $116 million for Watsonville Community Hospital to make an array of improvements took an early lead Tuesday, with 69.9% of voters saying yes.

The measure would also allow the Pajaro Valley Health Care District (PVHCD)—which runs the publicly owned hospital—to purchase the building and grounds, saving $3 million per year in rental costs.

The measure is seen as a life ring for the hospital, which suffered from years of financial mismanagement, and bankruptcy, before PVHCD took over.

It would place $24 per $100,000 of assessed value on property tax bills for properties within the district.

The measure includes an independent citizens’ oversight committee, which will make sure the district is spending the money as per the bond requirements.

PVHCD board member Tony Nuñez said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the preliminary results.

“It’s close, but we kind of figured it would be,” Nuñez said.

Nuñez said the numbers are a testament to the work of volunteers, who walked the district, which stretches from Aptos to northern Monterey County. during the campaign, 

“Everyone in here put a lot of effort into this, and I want to thank them for all that they did.”


Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors

District 1

Incumbent Manu Koenig took the lead against his sole challenger Lani Faulkner, with 54.6% of the vote.

(Stuff from Josue et al)

District 2

While a simple majority would have clinched an immediate win, that was not likely in a field of five candidates. And so Pajaro Valley Unified School District Trustee Kim De Serpa and Capitola Mayor Kristen Brown appear headed for a November runoff after edging out three challengers with 26.1% and 32.9% of the vote, respectively.

District 2 covers Aptos, La Selva Beach, Seacliff and Rio Del Mar, parts of Corralitos, Freedom, Capitola and Watsonville. The seat freed up when Supervisor Zach Friend announced he would not seek a new term.

De Serpa said she is ready to continue the campaign, and said she’s grateful to the voters.

“I’m feeling energized,” she said. “I cannot wait to see it through to November.”

De Serpa also tipped her hat to her fellow candidates after the long campaign.

“It takes a lot of chutzpah and a lot of guts to run for office, she said. “You make yourself really vulnerable, and there is a lot of work in preparing.”

Brown said she was cautiously optimistic about the early results.

“We feel really good about it, but we know there are a lot of votes left to be counted, so we’re not taking anything for granted,” she said. “We’re excited for what we’re seeing so far, and we’re looking forward to seeing what comes next.”

District 5

Another pair headed to November is Monica Martinez and Christopher Bradford, who are vying for the District 5 seat that opened when Bruce McPherson announced he would not run.

Martinez scored with 45.8%  and Bradford garnered just over 21%.

This story will be updated as results continue to come in.

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA. https://pajaronian.com/r-p-reporter-honored-by-csba/


  1. It never ceases to amaze me when California voters vote for more taxes upon themselves to be put into the hands of proven money mis-managers….

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