Wednesday Jun 09 2010
Duran emerges the clear winner in bitterly fought Roseville supes race
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Auburn’s Holmes could take on role of swing vote with Board of Supervisors
Jack Duran is the winner in a bitterly fought election battle with Rocky Rockholm for the Roseville seat on the Placer County Board of Supervisors. But the overall primary election – including controversial ballot measures, a gubernatorial horse race and even a challenge to U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock – failed to resonate with local voters. Duran, who attacked Rockholm hard on some embarrassing spending revelations about a chartered airplane flight and expensive dinner in Washington, D.C., was sitting on a comfortable 2,200-vote lead in the 1st District on Wednesday. A total of 13,683 votes had been counted and about 2,600 were left to be tallied from absentee ballots handed in at the polls and provisional votes. By the numbers, Duran captured 7,929 votes to 5,723 for Rockholm, or 57.95 percent to 41.83 percent. Duran’s election also points toward a shift in the dynamics of the board. Both Supervisors Robert Weygandt and Kirk Uhler contributed $2,000 to Rockholm late in the campaign. Rockholm is a Republican, as are Weygandt and Uhler. Montgomery and Duran are Democrats in posts that are ostensibly non-partisan. Auburn-area Supervisor Jim Holmes has been a Republican but recently changed his registration to “declined to state.” Neither he nor Montgomery contributed to Duran or Rockholm’s campaigns, according to county election contribution information. Holmes said the idea that he’s going to serve the role of swing vote on many issues has come up in recent conversations and it’s a position he took when Bruce Kranz and Ted Gaines were on the board. At that time, he would be the deciding vote on issues that went down to 2-2 votes among other supervisors, he said. Holmes said he’s comfortable with that role. Duran takes office in November. “I look at the issue from both sides, do the research and make the best decision I can,” Holmes said. North Auburn resident Wayne Nader, a retired banker who currently serves as chairman of the county audit committee, said that Duran’s more moderate views, leaning toward the left, could be a good thing for board members. “I don’t know Jack but I always believe having differing points of view challenges you to think differently,” Nader said. “It creates a healthy working environment.” County elections chief Jim McCauley said Wednesday that the election went smoothly, other than a computer glitch that didn’t allow online viewing of vote totals on the elections division website. By the time all ballots are counted within about 2½ weeks, the percentage of registered voters taking part in the election will have risen to 45 percent or 46 percent, McCauley said. That’s the lowest percentage since at least the early 1990s and probably ever, he said. Countywide, about 20,000 ballots have yet to be counted out of the approximately 90,000 turned in by 8 p.m. Tuesday. None of the major election bouts were close enough for candidates to continue watching the continuing count: n In the Placer County Auditor-Controller’s race newcomer Casey Tanner of Roseville was defeated by veteran incumbent Kathy Martinis. Martinis attracted 61.96 percent of the vote while Tanner could muster 37.72 percent. n Fourth District Assemblyman Ted Gaines showed strong support throughout the district, with 85.7 percent of the Republican primary vote against challenger Joseph Kammerer’s 14.3 percent. Gaines, a Roseville resident, gained 84.97percent of the GOP vote in Placer County. He’ll meet 4th District Democratic Party challenger Dennis Campanale in November. Campanale’s drive for his party’s nomination was uncontested. Gaines said employment is a major issue resonating with constituents this election cycle. “Elected officials need to make sure they’re in touch, listening and addressing the issues,” he said. n U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Roseville, also fended off a challenge. Auburn’s Michael Babich polled 21.9 percent of the vote while McClintock garnered 78.1 percent among Republican’s in the 4th congressional district. Within Placer County, the first-term congressman received 75.26 percent of the vote. McClintock will meet Clint Curtis, who was unchallenged in the 4th District Democrat primary.