Two new faces on City Council

District D race in recount territory

In the first election of City Council members from districts, in Morgan Hill, with no incumbents running, two fresh faces will be seated on the city council. Yvonne Martínez-Béltran from District B and Julie Makrai Hutcheson from District D are poised to be the city’s new council members.

Hutcheson ws locked in a tight race with candidate John McKay after most of the votes were counted following the Nov. 6 election. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Hutcheson maintains an 18-vote lead, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Office. However, provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

Mckay had not conceded as as if Nov. 8,  and a day earlier posted on his campaign Facebook page on about the close results. “We are officially within automatic recount territory but there are still 48% of the late mail in and provisional votes left to be counted,” wrote McKay. “I went to sleep about 70 votes down and woke up to 18 down (I like that trend… I think I’ll take a nap and see where the numbers end up).”

Hutcheson said she isn’t yet taking this as a victory, “It’s not done until all votes are counted,” she said.

According to the Santa Clara officials, “the following criteria would trigger a taxpayer-funded recount: (1) those local contests wholly within the county and where the margin of victory between the winning candidate and the next closest candidate was either 0.5% (one-half of 1 percent) of the ballots cast and/or (2) where the margin of victory was 25 votes or less.”

Regardless of the outcome, Hutcheson said campaigning and meeting constituents has been great and left her without any regrets. She told the Times, “The voters have made a choice we just have to be patient in finding out what the final outcome is.”

Both Martínez-Béltran and Hutcheson ran on environmentally-focused platforms, making preservation of open space a key issue in their races. Both women gained the support of current council member Rene Spring. Spring acted as Hutcheson’s campaign manager and vocally supported Martínez-Béltran.

Martínez-Béltran served on the Morgan Hill planning commission and has been a lifelong resident of the city. She grew up in the district she will now serve and attended P.A. Walsh, Britton Middle School and Live Oak High School.

When asked about her win, Martínez-Béltran told the Times, “I’m feeling grateful and I’m feeling excited and I’m feeling energized…This place built me, I’m truly grateful for the community.”

She said that while she was excited she wasn’t surprised. “I never doubted Morgan Hill, I really didn’t,” said Martínez-Béltran.

Hutcheson gained the endorsement of newly elected State Assemblymember, Robert Rivas. She has been a resident of the city for 14 years, worked as an active proponent of the city’s growth measure and is a commissioner for the County Agricultural Preservation Task Force. She also serves as the Director of External Affairs and Advocacy for the Committee for Green Foothills.

Martínez-Béltran said she was thrilled at the opportunity to be able to serve on the council with Hutcheson. She said the new faces of Morgan Hill will bring, “A chance and an opportunity to look at things differently.”

In the first district election in Morgan Hill, with no incumbents running, two fresh faces will be seated on the city council. Yvonne Martínez-Béltran from District B and Julie Makrai Hutcheson from District D are poised to be the city’s new council members.

Hutcheson is locked in a tight race with candidate John McKay after most of the votes were counted following the Nov. 6 election. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Hutcheson maintains an 18-vote lead, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Office. However, provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

Mckay has not conceded, and has posted on his campaign Facebook page about the close results. “We are officially within automatic recount territory but there are still 48% of the late mail in and provisional votes left to be counted,” wrote McKay. “I went to sleep about 70 votes down and woke up to 18 down (I like that trend… I think I’ll take a nap and see where the numbers end up).”

Hutcheson said she isn’t yet taking this as a victory, “It’s not done until all votes are counted,” she said.

According to the Santa Clara County Grand Jury, “ the following criteria would trigger a taxpayer-funded recount: (1) those local contests wholly within the county and where the margin of victory between the winning candidate and the next closest candidate was either 0.5% (one-half of 1 percent) of the ballots cast and/or (2) where the margin of victory was 25 votes or less.”

Regardless of the outcome, Hutcheson said campaigning and meeting constituents has been great and left her without any regrets. She told the Times, “The voters have made a choice we just have to be patient in finding out what the final outcome is.”

Both Martínez-Béltran and Hutcheson ran on environmentally focused platforms, making preservation of open space a key issue in their races. Both women gained the support of current council member Rene Spring. Spring acted as Hutcheson’s campaign manager and vocally supported Martínez-Béltran.

Martínez-Béltran served on the Morgan Hill planning commission and has been a lifelong resident of the city. She grew up in the district she will now serve and attended P.A. Walsh, Britton Middle School and Live Oak High School.

When asked about her win, Martínez-Béltran told the Times, “I’m feeling grateful and I’m feeling excited and I’m feeling energized…This place built me, I’m truly grateful for the community.”

She said that while she was excited she wasn’t surprised. “I never doubted Morgan Hill, I really didn’t,” said Martínez-Béltran.

Hutcheson gained the endorsement of newly elected State Assemblymember, Robert Rivas. She has been a resident of the city for 14 years, worked as an active proponent of the city’s growth measure and is a commissioner for the County Agricultural Preservation Task Force. She also serves as the Director of External Affairs and Advocacy for the Committee for Green Foothills.

Martínez-Béltran said she was thrilled at the opportunity to be able to serve on the council with Hutcheson. She said the new faces of Morgan Hill will bring, “A chance and an opportunity to look at things differently.”

This story will be updated if a recount occurs and as provisional ballots continue to be counted.

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