Many longtime incumbents found themselves facing challengers this year but were returned to office anyway.
In one of the more contentious races, Auditor-Controller Joe Harn ended up with a 55.4 to 44.37 percent lead over Mike Owen. Afterwards he said he was grateful the voters chose to give him another four years on the job and he intends to work really hard to earn that vote. “I’ve been doing this job for 20 years. We have no debt, have clean audits. It would be surprising if the county threw out a fiscal watchdog,” he said.
Mike Owen said he and his supporters were disappointed in the results. “But I’m not throwing out my signs,” he laughed, saying he might be back again. Owen attributes the money Harn received from real estate developer Angelo Tsakopoulos and others as having a lot to do with his winning. Owen said he may run again before Harn’s term is up once the county conducts an audit, saying that Harn’s office does not follow best practices when it comes to the role of the auditor-controller.
Longtime Treasurer-Tax Collector Cherie Raffety was also returned to office on a vote of 69.93 to 29.68 percent. Though out-of-town, she submitted a written statement following the election in which she thanked the voters for their trust and confidence and pledged to “continue to work toward improving the office for the benefit of all the taxpayers.” Raffety attributed her success to her campaign volunteers and the department’s friendly staff.
Raffety’s challenger, Supervisor Ron Briggs, could not be reached for a comment.
Incumbent District Attorney Vern Pierson said his election victory was a testament to the hard work of the people in the DA’s Office. Pierson won with a 72.12 to 27.45 percent spread. “I’m appreciative of the voters for their support,” he said. Pierson said he was also happy to see that Vicki Ashworth seems to have won her race to be a judge of the Superior Court in Office 1 although he was sad to see her leave.
Pierson’s initial challenger, Judson Henry, withdrew from the race and threw his support behind Pierson, though his name remained on the ballot.
Bill Schultz, who was also re-elected as the Recorder-Clerk, said, “The best thing I can say is that I’m elated at the outcome. I appreciate everyone’s support and plan to continue to do a great job for the community over the next four years.”
Schultz won with a resounding 69.55 percent of the vote.
Asked about turnout for the primary, Schultz predicted it will turn out to be 38 to 39 percent once they complete the ballot tally over the next week or so.
Schultz’s challenger, Chris Amaral, who earned 30.22 percent, said he was disappointed that he didn’t win but was appreciative of the 9,000 votes he received. “I called Bill (Schultz) and congratulated him. He is a true gentleman and I wished him the best of luck,” said Amaral. Amaral said he would need time to decompress but may run again in the future in order to support the county any way he can.
Running unopposed were Assessor Karl Weiland, who received 98.9 percent of the vote; Sheriff-Coroner-Public Administrator John D’Agostini, who received 98.27 percent; County Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Meyers, who received 98.45 percent; and Surveyor Rich Briner, who received 99.28 percent.
In the race for the State Board of Equalization, 1st District, George Runner beat Chris Parker 63.37 to 36.36 percent.
Tom McClintock retained his position as U.S. Representative, 4th District, with 55.31 percent of the vote; Arthur Moore received 22.83 percent and Jeffery Gerlach received 21.30 percent.
In the State Assembly race, 5th District, Frank Bigelow was unopposed and won with 96.13 percent of the vote.
In the 6th District Assembly race, Beth Gaines beat Brian Caples 66.77 percent to 32.89 percent.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.