Abel and Schooler elected to Town Council

Early vote clerks Gabriel Anaya, left, and Baileigh Scott manage the early voting station at the Yucca Valley Elks Lodge Monday.

YUCCA VALLEY — Councilman Merl Abel was elected to his second full term on the Yucca Valley Town Council Tuesday night, while former community services director Jim Schooler was voted in as a new councilman in the first election by district for the council.

Abel won the seat in the new 3rd District with 607 votes — 63 percent of ballots cast, according to unofficial results Wednesday from the county elections office. Challenger Jo Ann Bollen received 346 votes.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve for another four years,” Abel said in a phone interview.

“I want to acknowledge that my opponent ran a very clean and competent campaign.”

Abel said he’s looking forward to working on some major projects in the next four years.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity of delivering a new library in partnership with the county,” he said. “I’m wanting to work with the county on bringing a new fire station to Yucca Valley.”

Illegal dumping and planning a new aquatics and activity center are two other goals for Abel. 

The 3rd District covers roughly the southeast quadrant of Yucca Valley.

Abel first joined the Town Council in 2011, when he was appointed to finish out Chad Mayes’ term after Mayes was elected to the state Assembly. He was reelected in 2014.

Schooler won the seat in the 1st District with 430 votes, for 63 percent of ballots cast.

He could not be reached for comment by presstime.

Schooler is the field representative for state Senator Jean Fuller, whose term ends this year. He worked for the town of Yucca Valley for 21 years as community services director.

Edmund Shadman, a businessman, was the only other candidate in the race; he took 251 votes.

The 1st District includes Yucca Valley Elementary School and part of Old Town.

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