Former Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin appears poised to become the first woman from Santa Cruz County to hold a seat on the State Assembly, with early returns showing 67.4% of voters supporting her throughout the district.
Early results as of 8pm Tuesday also showed 65.5% of Santa Clara County voters supporting her run for the 28th District.
Her opponent is Republican Liz Lawler, who currently serves on the Monte Sereno City Council.
The newly redrawn Assembly District 28 includes Los Gatos and also covers north Santa Cruz County, Morgan Hill and southern San Jose.
Lawler, a native of Los Angeles, moved to Monte Sereno with her family in 2013, and was elected to the city council in 2018, serving a year as mayor in 2020. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley.
Business tax holds early lead
Voters so far seem supportive of the plan to raise the business tax rate in Los Gatos, garnering 56% in favor of Measure J, early election results show.
Measure J would increase the town’s base business tax rate by 30 percent for businesses with more than $50,000 in annual gross receipts.
Taxes for licensed businesses have not increased in the town since 1991.
The tax rate for retail businesses with more than $50,000 in gross receipts would also be increased by 40 percent, while e-commerce businesses would be added to the town’s “manufacturing, wholesaling and jobbing” tax category.
That category’s tax rate would also be increased by 120 percent.
Town officials estimate the tax increase would generate roughly $1.2 million per year for the general fund, and help shore up a forecasted budget deficit.