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Islas’ Lead Widens in Fresno School Board Race. Measure E Still Losing.



Trustee Veva Islas on Election Night. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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Fresno Unified Trustee Veva Islas has gained more ground over her closest challenger in the race for the McLane Area 4 seat on the School Board, according to the latest vote total update Tuesday.

Islas, seeking her second term on the School Board, saw her 25-vote lead on Election Night over retired teacher Karen Steed grow to 141 votes by Thursday’s update. That day the Fresno County Elections Office reported that 41,000 mail and provisional ballots remained to be counted, plus any mail ballots that arrived with a postmark of no later than Nov. 8 and any ballots that required signature verification.

A week later, Islas’ lead has widened to 229 votes over Steed. Islas has 44.3% to 40.1% for Steed and 15% for chemist Michelle Scire.

The Elections Office reported Tuesday that at least 21,000 ballots remain to be counted. The next update will be on Friday afternoon.

The Area 4 race is the only one of four Fresno Unified trustee seats that is a cliffhanger. Edison Area 1 incumbent Keshia Thomas and Sunnyside Area 3 incumbent Valerie Davis are maintaining leads that range from overwhelming to comfortable in their respective races.

Thomas has 76% to retired Corrections Department employee Wayne Horton’s 23.5%, and Davis has 47.2% to teacher Karl Diaz’s 23.2%, retired teacher Tammy McMahon Goran’s 20.5%, and marketing representative Michael Osmer’s 8.8%.

Voters appear to have jettisoned one Fresno Unified incumbent. Bullard Area 7 Trustee Terry Slatic continues to trail challenger Susan Wittrup in the latest vote update. Wittrup, a retired school psychologist, has 57.6%, Slatic, 26.1%, retired teacher Jim Barr has 11.9%, and campus safety assistant Michael Haynes, 4.1%

Measure E Still Losing

Meanwhile, a proposed sales tax to benefit Fresno State still hasn’t gained enough yes votes to pass.

Tuesday’s update reported Measure E with 46.9% yes votes and 53.2% no votes. The percentage of yes votes grew slightly from Thursday’s vote report, but the no votes are leading yes votes by more than 11,400, according to Tuesday’s report.

To pass, Measure E would need a simple majority of yes votes because it was placed on the ballot by citizen petition.

Measure E, a proposed two-tenths of a cent Fresno County sales taxes, was projected to raise $720 million over its 20-year span.

Revenues were to go to Fresno State programs and facilities, with two-thirds slated for academics and the remaining third for university athletics.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email