Businessman Glenn Church leads District 2 Monterey County Board of Supervisors race

Royal Oaks businessman Glenn Church took the early lead Tuesday night in the race to become the next North County representative on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

Church held a double-digit lead in the initial District 2 results with 33.07% of the 5,325  votes counted by 8 p.m. Tuesday, followed by Salinas Mayor Kimbley Craig at 21.95% and Regina Gage, executive director of Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley, at 20.17%. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two will appear on the November ballot.

Speaking by phone from his election night event at Church Christmas Tree Farms, Church said his campaign had met its expectations.

“My goal was to break 30% and we’ve done that,” he said. “I’m happy. In a six-person race, it’s just really about impossible to (receive a majority and avoid a runoff).”

Church, 62, is a small businessman who runs Church Christmas Tree Farms in Royal Oaks. While he’s never held elected office, Church previously said to The Herald was heavily involved in county affairs in the 1980s, ’90s and the 2000s, before stepping back for a few years to raise his two sons. He is currently president of the Fire Safe Council For Monterey County.

“Everybody in this race knew it was going to be going to November,” he said. “At this point, it’s still really up in the air between the other three.”

Steve Snodgrass, who recently retired as chief financial officer of Granite Rock Co., was in fourth place with 15.02% of the vote.

In a tight race for the second spot in the November general election, Craig said she was “thrilled with the initial results.”

“There are many, many, many ballots that still have to be counted, so I am hopeful and the initial count is really encouraging,” she said by phone from a small gathering of family and friends watching the results come in Tuesday night.

Craig, 46, is the president and CEO of Monterey County Business Council as well as the mayor of Salinas. Before being elected mayor in 2020, Craig spent eight years representing North Salinas on the City Council.

While Craig said there were many variables in a six-person race without an incumbent, one thing she said she did not take into consideration was a low-turnout election.

“I’m hoping that that number, that percentage, increases as ballots continue to be counted,” she said.

With Supervisor John Phillips retiring after serving District 2 for two terms, the North County district that includes Pajaro, Aromas, Moss Landing, Castroville, Prunedale and parts of North Salinas will have a new representative on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

Gage, 57, is the executive director of Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating food insecurity by providing nutritious meals for homebound seniors in the Salinas Valley. Since 2018 she has served on the board of directors for the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. She previously served as CFO for St. Andrews Residential Programs for Youth, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and supportive services for foster youth, has worked as a legal advocate for survivors of domestic violence and as an adult literacy volunteer in Salinas libraries.

In 2018, Gage was the runner-up to Phillips. Running as the incumbent in the two-person race, Phillips received 58.31% of the vote to Gage’s 41.69% to win reelection outright.

Adriana Melgoza Ramirez, the director of organizing and education for the Center for Community Advocacy in Salinas, was in fifth place with 7.34% of the vote.

Grant Leonard, a housing analyst with the city of Monterey, was in sixth place with 2.44% of the vote.

District 3, in the southeastern end of Monterey County, is the other Board of Supervisors seat up for election this year. Incumbent Chris Lopez is running unopposed.

Contributed by local news sources

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