Supervisors to vote on Kern elections map Friday, third supervisor election possible in 2018

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As soon as court let out late Wednesday afternoon, County Counsel Mark Nations said a new supervisor map proposal will be taken to the board of supervisors for a closed session vote Friday.

While neither media nor the public were allowed inside the confidential settlement conference, there are new details about this proposal.

At 9AM Friday the board will vote on one new map developed by the two parties Wednesday.

If the supervisors approve the new map Friday, which County Counsel Nations characterized as a “compromise,” the county and the plaintiffs represented by the Mexican American legal defense and Educational Fund will come back Friday afternoon and likely shake hands in agreement.

But if the supervisors vote this new map down on Friday, Federal Judge Dale A Drozd will likely decide how the maps will be drawn so that Kern has two Latino majority supervisor districts.

County Counsel Nations said he is optimistic there will be an agreement Friday, while addressing questions of public input and what if someone running for a supervisor seat this year is suddenly drawn out of their district.

“Certainly everything is going to be made public. The public is going to have plenty of opportunity to review it to comment on it, [but] this is going to be the subject of a court order, it’s not the legislative process,” said Nations speaking largely after the maps are selected.

“If [a candidate lives] in the district now, and they certified for the primary, for example, and because of the change they’re [drawn] out, the court can order essentially that residency be waived for those individuals and they would be allowed to run anyway,” explained Nations.

Two supervisors, Zack Scrivner of southeast Kern and Mike Maggard of Oildale and northwest Bakersfield are up for reelection this year.

But Nations suggested this proposal could possibly result in moving up the District Four election by two years.

Supervisor David Couch represents the fourth district, which covers western Kern.

Furthermore, part of this proposal would likely see these supervisor primaries–currently scheduled for June–pushed back until the November election for a simple majority-takes-all vote without a runoff.

But the bottom line is, by the end of Friday–whether by negotiation or court mandate–Kern County will see two majority Latino supervisor districts for the first time. 

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