Although the June primary vote counting is not officially over, it is pretty much assured Merced County will have a new district attorney in its future.
In her first run at office, Assistant District Attorney Nicole Silveira unseated her boss, Merced County District Attorney Kimberly Lewis.
The last county vote tally released from the county elections office showed Silveira with a total of 17, 994 votes, or 69 percent. Lewis totaled 7,986, or 30 percent. With only a couple of thousand votes left to tally, Silveira’s election is all but certain.
An Atwater native, Silveira was elated about the decisive victory.
“I am happy beyond words from the support that I have received from the voters,” she said.
Silveira has spent 12 years as an assistant DA under both Lewis and the late Larry Morse.
She said that during the campaign, her priorities resonated with the voters throughout the county.
“People are concerned about violent crime, ag crime, and investing in our students,” Silveira explained. “These are the issues that I talked about.”
So in between now and her officially taking office in January, Silveira will keep working while at the same time getting ready to take over.
“I will start laying the foundation for those things I feel are so important,” she said.
One item she wants to work on will be forming a “Multicultural Committee” to help come up with solutions for fighting crime.
She also plans to regularly visit the west side of the county to meet with citizens.
One person who is also elated with Silveira’s election is Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke. The sheriff was one of her early backers.
“Nicole is the right person for the job at a time when Merced County really needs a strong leader in the DA’s Office,” Sheriff Warnke commented. “I look forward to many years of her fighting for the citizens of our community.”
Voters in Dos Palos will be going to the polls in November as city council and school board positions will be on the ballot.
On the council, the seats of Debbie Orlando and Thomas Pigg are up for grabs.
For the first time, the Dos Palos/Oro Loma Joint Unified School District will be holding area elections to the seven-person board.
The seats of Moy Meraz (Area 5), Gordon Bonds (Area 7) and Jeremy O’Banion (Area 2) will be contested.