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Berryhill, Olsen get nod for seats in state legislature

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POSTED November 7, 2012 2:22 a.m.

Cathleen Galgiani - a lawmaker who was one of the key authors of the bullet train legislation - appears to have her efforts derailed in a bid to win the District 5 State Senate seat.

As of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Bill Berryhill was leading Galgiani with 51.5 percent of the vote to her 48.5 percent with 250 of 627 precincts reporting. Both are currently members of the California Assembly.

Berryhill’s family is the closest the Northern Joaquin Valley has to a political dynasty. The Republican is currently the 5th District Assembly member

His late father, Clare Berryhill, served in both houses of the State Legislature. Tom Berryhill, his brother, is in the neighboring state assembly 25th district.

His background consists of agriculture, education, and politics. He grew up in Ceres and is a fourth-generation grape grower.

Berryhill, a Republican, was first elected to the Ceres school board.

Assembly incumbent Kristen Olsen of Modesto defeated Lathrop’s Chris Mateo to win the recently created 12th Assembly District.

As of 11:38 p.m.  Olsen was leading with 62.3 percent of the vote compared to 37.7 percent for Mateo with 219 of 355 precincts reporting.

Olsen, who served on the Modesto City Council from 2005 to 2009, is a wife and mother of three. The Republican was first elected to Assembly two years ago.

 She was also the Assistant Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs at California State University, Stanislaus.

Olsen currently serves on the board for Court Appointed Special Advocates. She’s aware of the growing numbers of foster youths in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

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