The most interesting election night outcome was the voter’s selection from among six candidates running for the District 5 supervisorial seat. The top two vote-getters are Sue Novasel from South Lake Tahoe and Kevin Brown from Pollock Pines.
District 5 for a long time has been a South Lake Tahoe seat. District 2, now held by South County resident Ray Nutting, used to be the second seat for South Lake Tahoe. But South Lake Tahoe’s shrinking population has left it with only one seat after the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors redrew district boundaries following the 2010 Census.
In District 5, there were 4,134 votes cast. Of that total there were 3,250 voters from South Lake Tahoe, as evidenced by the total vote given for Measure L to continue the $20 parcel tax for the South Lake Tahoe Library. That left 884 votes cast in Pollock Pines and small communities in the American River Canyon, such as Silver Fork.
Novasel garnered 1,135 votes or 27.46 percent and Brown came in second at 788 votes for 19.06 percent. Add in Teresa Piper’s 499 votes and Pollock Pines candidates totaled 1,287 votes.
Add in Angela Swanson’s 737 votes, Kenny Curtzwiler’s 731 and Gerri Grego’s 499 and South Lake Tahoe candidates totaled 3,102 votes. The odds stack up in Novasel’s favor. Brown will have to do a lot of work in South Lake Tahoe and Meyers to overcome that advantage.
In the District 4 supervisorial seat, the ballot was cluttered with eight candidates. Nevertheless, the voters sorted out two candidates to proceed on to the Nov. 4 sweepstakes. Howard Penn, a no-growth candidate, will face off against Lotus wine grape grower Mike Ranalli. Both candidates will be touting their devotion to the rural lifestyle, though it should be noted that even the residents of El Dorado Hills consider themselves “rural.” District 4 includes part of El Dorado Hills north of Green Valley Road, while the rest of the district is largely rural. Ranalli received 1,708 votes for 21.5 percent and Penn received 1,737 votes for 21.87 percent. Two other candidates made significant percentages enough to accord their future endorsement some value. They are Lori Parlin at 12.46 percent and Tim Palmer at 11.86 percent. It will come down to the wire. Incumbent District 4 Supervisor Ron Briggs originally won his seat against Norm Krizl by 160 votes.
Two definite winners are the two women running for judge. Judicial Commissioner Dylan Sullivan won nearly 60 percent of the vote to Joseph Hoffman’s nearly 40 percent. Incumbency played strongly for Sullivan, who as judicial commissioner was able to show herself in judicial robes in mailers she sent out. Having her arrayed in photos with a number of other sitting judges also robed also sent a strong message of incumbency. In January she will be promoted to the Superior Court bench and the judges will have to appoint another judicial commissioner.
Prosecutor Vicki Ashworth appears to be the outright winner in a three-way race for the Superior Court Office 1 bench. She has 51.56 percent of the vote as of the semi-official election night report. There are 8,000 absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted. Those are largely absentee ballots that were turned in at polling places on election night. Four judicial candidates had the most signs — Joseph Hoffman, Dylan Sullivan, Dave Combellack and Vicki Ashworth. Sullivan had the most mailers and the most expensive campaign. Ashworth walked precincts on weekends, which proved decisive in her race against David Combellack and Joseph Weinberger.
We extend our congratulations to the two new judges. We endorsed Ashworth and Hoffman, but we have no regrets about Sullivan’s win. We felt either of these two candidates would make fine judges. And we felt that way about the other two candidates against whom Ashworth appears to have been the unalloyed winner.
Despite a dog-and-pony show of trumped-up allegations against Auditor-Controller Joe Harn, he easily won reelection against Supervisor Ray Nutting’s revenge candidate Mike Owen. Harn took 55.4 percent of the vote against Owen’s 44.37 percent.
Certified Public Accountant C.L. Raffety won reelection by a 2:1 margin over termed-out Supervisor Ron Briggs.
Among the elected officials who were unopposed it should be noted that the surveyor out-polled the popular sheriff. The voters weren’t fooled by the termed-out Supervisor Norma Santiago and CAO Terri Daly’s visit to the Sacramento Bee resulting in a recommendation to eliminate the Recorder-Clerk and the Surveyor positions.
Recorder-Clerk Bill Schultz won nearly 70 percent of the vote against challenger Chris Amaral, whose election signs bore the slogan “an El Dorado Hills resident.”
We congratulate Tuesday’s winners and look forward to the general election.