Several candidates battle for mayoral, council seats in Adelanto

Rene Ray De La Cruz
Victorville Daily Press
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Several Adelanto candidates are battling for one mayoral and two council seats, which will be decided in the November General Election.

Editor's note: This story has been updated from the original version. Earlier versions of the story misidentified candidate Monique Carrillo and also Diana Esmeralda, a candidate for Adelanto mayor.

In Adelanto, several candidates are battling for one mayoral and two council seats that will be decided during the General Election in November. 

Five candidates seeking a four-year term as mayor include incumbents Mayor Gabriel Reyes and Councilwoman Stevevonna Evans, who will vacate her current council seat should she win or lose.

Both Reyes and Evans won their seats during the at-large election in November 2018.

Additional candidates in the hunt for mayor include customer service representative and former 2018 mayoral candidate Ronald Beard, small business owner Monique Carrillo and 2018 mayoral candidate Diana Esmeralda, who identifies herself as a domestic partner on the ballot. 

Council candidates

The second open seat is held by Councilman Keron Jones, who was appointed by the council in June 2021 to replace Mayor Pro Tem Gerardo “Gerry” Hernandez, who could no longer serve after he tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2020.

Candidates battling for the two four-year term council seats include author/writer and former 2020 candidate Edward Reyes, small business owner Amanda Uptergrove and service technician Benjamin Smith.

Additional council candidates include animal advocate Heather Gaines and Adelanto Planning Commissioners Miguel Soto and Angelo Meza.

Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Ramos and Councilwoman Joy Jeannette were elected to four-year terms in 2020.

At-large election

In Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville, voters participate in by-district elections, in which they elect council members in their respective districts, the councils later vote to appoint one of their own as mayor and mayor pro tem.

Meanwhile, Adelanto and Barstow have an at-large council and mayoral elections. Apple Valley also has a mayoral at-large election.

In November, Victorville will conduct its first by-district election. Hesperia had its first in 2016 and the Town of Apple Valley in 2020.

Facing lawsuits under the California Voting Rights Act, municipalities across the state switched from citywide at-large elections to by-district elections. The reason was to ensure that geographically divided people groups of voters were allowed to elect their representatives.

“Adelanto hasn't been hit by a lawsuit yet, but when it does, we’ll make the change to by-district," Reyes said.

With four of five council seats represented by people of color, Reyes believes the council already reflects the "racial makeup" of the city.

With an estimated Adelanto population of nearly 38,118 in 2021, 67.7% were Hispanic/Latino, 18.3% were Black/African American and 9.8% were white alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Gerardo Hernandez

After his diagnosis, Hernandez was admitted to a local hospital. At one point, he was in critical condition, was intubated, placed in a medical coma and was suffering from multiple organ failure, his wife, Tracy Hernandez, reported.

Nearly two years later, Gerardo Hernandez continues to recover at his home in Adelanto.

In 2020, Tracy Hernandez was among 10 candidates running for two open seats on the Adelanto Council.

Voter information

Counter voter information guides from the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office are scheduled to be delivered to the Post office on Oct. 4.

Mail ballots are scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Post Office on Oct. 10, with early voting beginning the following day. Election Day is Nov. 8.

Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz

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