As of Thursday morning, judicial candidate deputy district attorney Vicki Ashworth was poised to win the election to El Dorado County Superior Court Office 1.
“I think it’s going to be a long night,” Ashworth said around 9 p.m. election night, June 3. Though she was already in the lead with the initial counting, with more than 50 percent of the vote, she said she was “waiting for the results, hoping for the best.” She was “excited about the early returns, but we’ll see.” In the meantime, she was enjoying her election night party at Cafe Campanile in Town Center in El Dorado Hills.
Attorney David Combellack was also enjoying his party at a house near Combellack Road in Placerville.
“I’m not enjoying what I’m seeing in terms of the vote,” he said, “but it’s a nice party with a lot of nice people, working hard.” While Ashworth had 52 percent of the vote at the time, Combellack said that, “Historically, of late, it looks like 75 to 80 percent of votes” were from absentees. “There’s still a lot of absentees not counted.” He said he had been “humbled by the support I’ve received, and I’ll be humble moving forward.”
On June 4, Combellack said he was “surprised it’s not going to be a runoff. That’s what it looks like from what I’ve seen.” The unofficial vote at the time, which had not been updated Thursday morning, had Ashworth at 51.50 percent of the vote and Combellack at an even 34 percent. A third opponent, attorney Joe Weinberger, had 14.31 percent. A candidate needs 50 percent plus one vote to win outright; otherwise, a runoff occurs between the two top candidates.
Going off Wednesday’s numbers, Combellack was “let down. So many people were working so hard. I’m not only disappointed for myself, but so many people put so much effort into my effort.” He was not sure if he would run again in a judicial race. He said he could not see any future opportunities, but he was not in the right state of mind to make a good decision.
Ashworth was “just waiting” for results, she said. “I’m honored and excited about the votes so far.” As for her competitors, “The two gentlemen that ran against me are very qualified and I remain reserved enough to not automatically assume that this is an outright win. I realize there are still votes to be counted.” Despite her reserved optimism, she wanted to thank “all those who voted for me and supported me.”
Joe Zitzelberger of the county Elections Department said that, as of Thursday morning, there were still about 8,000 ballots to count. An update, he said would not be available until that afternoon, after the Mountain Democrat’s press time. The official final tally would likely come over the weekend.