Voter turnout in Nevada County is consistently higher than the state average. The June primary election was no exception, with civic-minded voters casting their votes for the candidates of their choice. Even so, turnout will likely hover at the 50% mark. As of last night, 17,574 ballots had been counted. An estimated 16-18,000 ballots received on Election Day via drop boxes, vote centers and U.S. Mail still need to be processed during the official canvass.
Incumbent Sue Hoek decisively defeated Calvin Clark. Leading the election night tally with 2,829 votes or 84.32% of ballots counted so far, the current Chair of the Board of Supervisors will continue to serve District 4. Clark, a serial unsuccessful recall proponent, didn’t fare very well as a candidate. He garnered 526 votes, 15.68% of votes counted so far.
The open seat in District 3 was a three-way race between two former Grass Valley mayors, Lisa Swarthout and Patti Ingram Spencer, and another failed recall proponent Valentina Masterz, a local business owner. Masterz mustered 585 votes, Ingram Spencer garnered 892 votes and Swarthout leads the contest with 1,407 votes or 48.79% of votes counted on election night.
Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters
The three candidates vying to replace retiring Clerk-Recorder Greg Diaz included self-proclaimed citizen auditor, Paul Gilbert, local volunteer/veteran Jason Tedder and Assistant Clerk-Recorder Natalie Adona.
Gilbert, who had campaign signs displayed across the county, did not file a campaign finance report.
Tedder, whose campaign was the most well-funded, received late contributions from the Nevada County Restoration PAC ($3,000 on May 31), local bar/restaurant (Friar Tucks) owner and head of the Restoration PAC Ken Paige $1,200, geologist Robert Campbell $1,100, business owner Ray Byers $1,100 and a $3,000 contributions from the Nevada County Contractors Association PAC. His campaign raised $32,258 in total for 2022.
Adona gave her campaign a $6,000 loan, and raised approximately $14,000.
A resurrected PAC, Americans for Good Government (AFGG), reported spending $8,382.25 on a mailer calling for a vote against Adona. The PAC received a $2,000 contribution from local attorney and former candidate for Clerk-Recorder Barry Pruett, $1,249 from Nevada County GOP Chair Bob Hren, $1,500 from Tea Party Patriot member Eddie Garcia, $2,022 from Susan Walsh and $2,022 from consultant John Young listed as the largest contributions.
On election night, Gilbert received 1,290 votes (8.11%) of the ballots counted. Tedder garnered 3,515 votes (22.08%) and Adona leads with 11,111 votes (69.81%)
Gina Will, the current Assistant Auditor-Controller and businessman Rob Tribble were candidates to replace retiring Auditor-Controller Marcia Salter.
Tribble received $4,900 from the Restoration Coalition PAC, and an additional $500 from the PAC’s chair, bar/restaurant owner Ken Paige. His campaign reported a total of $6,482 of contributions received in 2022. The campaign spent $1,014 on campaign signs and $5,418.18 on a mailing piece printed and distributed by the same firm that distributed AFGG’s mailer.
Will loaned her campaign $6,480 and raised an additional $1,312 for a total of $7,792. The campaign spent $7,463.26 on campaign signs and a mailer.
On election night, Tribble received 8,105 (54.96%) of votes and Will 6,641 (45.04%)
Rolf Kleinhans, currently working at the Sheriff’s Office and Gerald Bushore, the Assessment Appeals Board chairperson (a volunteer position) were the two candidates.
Kleinhans leads the race comfortably with 10,584 votes (71.64%) vs Bushore’s 4,190 votes (28.36%)
Uncontested county races – and the Top Vote Getter
Several uncontested races were on the ballot, with only one candidate filing for each of the following:
Nevada County Superintendent of Schools: Scott Lay received 11,210 votes
District Attorney: Jesse Wilson received 12,628 votes
Sheriff/Coroner/Public Administrator: Shannan Moon received 13,316 votes
Treasurer/Tax Collector: Tina Vernon received 13,887 votes and is the overall top vote-getter in a countywide race.
Nevada City City Council
Four candidates on the ballot for two seats in Nevada City:
Adam Kline received 413 votes (34.59%) on election night
Lou Ceci received 396 votes (33.17%)
Erin Minett received 315 votes (26.38%)
Ken Merdinger received 70 votes (5.86%)
Truckee’s Measure U (a 1/2 percent sales tax to fund open space and trails) found favor with 1,439 voters (76.42%).
More results to come
The Elections Office stated last night they are planning to release updates every few days, with the election certified by the July 15 deadline. The election night results are available by cumulative, precinct and detailed vote totals on the Elections Office website.