Dr. Sidhu takes early lead in hospital election
When Tulare County Elections Office posted its early results, one candidate, challenger Dr. Jasvir Sidhu, led the Sierra View Local Health Care District Board of Directors race.
Sidhu, a physician who has served the community for 26 years, had 3,567 votes, or 20.44% of the initial votes. Incumbents Richard Hatfield and Brent Gill were right behind him with 3,034 and 2,931 votes, respectively. There were three seats up for election Tuesday.
The First Summary Report represents ballots received by the election office prior to Tuesday’s voting. It does not include any ballots cast on Tuesday.
But, with seven candidates, the hospital race has proven to be one of the most popular, and crowded, local races.
“People like me in the medical field, I tend to wait for the results,” Sidhu said. “In the voting arena, I’m out of my league. I’m out of my field.”
But, what he does know is that his experience and way of thinking can help and assist the board and the hospital as it provides for the people of Porterville.
“I feel we need to re-look at things. It’s 2012 — we need to look at things, look at what is happening in the health field and what we need to do next,” Sidhu said. “In this experience, I realize now that every single vote helps and the numbers show it.”
Early election results also showed challenger Dr. Gaurang Pandya, a local general surgeon, and incumbent Martha A. Flores running neck and neck, with only five votes separating the two.
Pandya and Flores had racked up 2,371 and 2,366 votes, respectively.
Dr. Jindal, a local internist, and local rancher Mark Fazzone trailed in the race, with 1,717 and 1,440 votes, respectively.
Earlier in the evening, Pandya and his wife, Ela, gathered with friends at their home.
“We’re going to call it a night at 10 p.m. but for now, we’re watching the elections on the television to see what is happening,” Dr. Pandya said. “This is my first campaign and first experience running. We’ve learned a lot and feel good about walking a lot of precincts.”
For the past two to three weeks, Dr. Pandya said he’s been walking daily and enjoying the opportunity of talking to people.
“This is all new for us and we thought people would be annoyed, but they haven’t been. People have been really interested and have been asking a lot of questions about what a board director does,” said Dr. Pandya.
Supporters Mickie Manning and Betty Bluekle said volunteering has been interesting for them too and the two have learned a lot during the new experience.
“I don’t think we could have done it without all these friends,” Ela Pandya said. “But whatever happens, we know we did the best that we could.”
By 10 p.m., there were no new hospital results posted. The votes reported are not final, with numerous ballots still needing to be counted.
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.