Janda, Magnuson, Butler lead City Council race

DeFoe only 249 votes behind; thousands of ballots left to count
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald correspondent
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Win or lose, Rocklin City Council candidate Greg Janda had big plans for the day after the election.

“I’m going to Disneyland. I’ll be on a plane at 6:30 a.m.,” Janda said at his election party Tuesday night.
Janda led the field of eight candidates with 21.99 percent of the vote. Janda came in third for two seats in the 2010 election for council.
“I made a long-term commitment at that point,” Janda said.
Janda’s supporters heralded his perseverance for getting the win in 2012. Critics contend he pulled ahead due to a mailer declaring him the only Republican in the race. Council races are traditionally non-partisan.
“It takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of good people,” Janda said. “You need to listen to good advice, surround yourself with good people, and it’s a team effort.”
Janda, a small business owner, set a priority to attract businesses to Rocklin.
With three seats on the council up for grabs, Rocklin voters re-elected George Magnuson to a sixth term on the council with 16 percent of the vote. However, Magnuson was only 65 votes ahead of the next challenger.
“No matter what the outcome, I want to congratulate every one of the other candidates for showing an interest in running for the City Council,” Magnuson said. “It is never easy on the candidates or their families to participate in the campaign process.”
Magnuson said he ran again to bring experience to a “fairly inexperienced council.” First elected in 1991, Magnuson will be the longest-serving council member, followed by Scott Yuill, elected in 2006. 
The third and final council member may be decided by outstanding ballots that could not be counted on election night. Placer County Registrar of Voters Jim McCauley said the results are semi-official, as there are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 ballots remaining to be counted in Placer County.
“These ballots – mostly vote-by-mail ballots, mail ballots and provisional ballots – will be collected, verified and counted in the canvass of election results,” he said. “Once counted, these ballots could add another 10 to 15 percent to our final turnout figures.”
Right now Dave Butler has the third-best tally of votes with 15.84 percent.
“I’m confident in that I worked my plan,” he said at his election night party. “I think I did a good job and our volunteers and supporters did a really good job, so we’ll just see what happens.”
Butler, who runs an educational nonprofit, vowed to improve the city’s customer service, and his idea of hiring a retail recruiter to help fill vacant retail space got a lot of attention during the campaign.
With only 249 votes behind, candidate Dan DeFoe is still a contender with 15.23 percent. Butler out-fundraised DeFoe 20 to one, but DeFoe said a health issue, a detached retina that kept him from campaigning at the end, may have made the difference.
“I ruined my chances when I had eye surgery,” DeFoe said. “I was out for the last few weeks when I should have been out there. It’s close. We’ll see.”
DeFoe, a history professor at Sierra College, vowed to be the voice for historical preservation on the council, if elected.
Council candidate and Rocklin High School senior Jack Lento-Edrich was still confident with a distant 2.07 percent of the vote so far.
“We won’t know until two weeks from now,” he said. “I’m still hopeful.”
The county has 28 days to finalize the vote total, but historically two weeks has been enough, according to McCauley. 

"We realize it is difficult for candidates and campaigns involved in close races to wait weeks to know whether they won or lost the election," McCauley said.

Candidates and members of the public are invited to observe the post-election ballot-counting process. For more information, call the Placer County Elections Office at (530) 886-5650.

Election results are available at the county's website,




Number of Precincts   37  
Precincts Reporting   37 100.0 %
Vote For   3  
Total Votes   40724  

DAN DEFOE   6203 15.23%
GEORGE A. MAGNUSON   6517 16.00%
GREG JANDA   8955 21.99%
DAVE BUTLER   6452 15.84%
KEN BROADWAY   5480 13.46%
WIJAYA "VJ" PERERA   795 1.95%
Write-in Votes   155 0.38%