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Browne running for supervisor again

Greg Risling

Dan Browne will take another crack at El Dorado County’s District 5 supervisorial seat but this time won’t have to run against John Upton.

The South Lake Tahoe businessman submitted his name with the Elections Department late Wednesday, the last day to file for the June 2 election. The filing deadline was extended five days because the incumbent Upton isn’t seeking a third term.

Browne squared off against Upton and Vee Hembrow in the 1994 primary, garnering more than 19 percent of the votes. But it was Upton and Hembrow who received a majority of the support and moved on to a runoff election that November.

This time there won’t be an opposing incumbent to contend with. Browne, 51, will have to face the likes of South Lake Tahoe’s City Councilmember Margo Osti and Police Chief David Solaro.

“I don’t think names will be a factor in this election,” Browne said. “This election will boil down to the issues and how the candidates address them.”

Browne’s announcement could throw more havoc into a race that is expected to be closely contested. According to Michele MacIntyre, who represents the county’s Registrar of Voters, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the votes to win the primary. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters would have to campaign for another six months for the November ballot.

Receiving almost 20 percent of the votes last time out, Browne’s significance in the race can’t be underestimated. The presence of a third candidate makes it difficult for one to win by a simple majority. While Osti and Solaro are recognized public officials, Browne could sneak up on his challengers. Four years ago, he had some strong words for the then-county government that was embroiled in legal problems.

His focused message over the next several months will be about breathing new life into the local economy.

“From my perspective the single most important issue is the economy,” he said. “We have to try and get back the tourist base that we’ve lost over past years.”

Browne said he won’t change his approach to the campaign but added he plans to be more visible.

“I want to make more public appearances and actively raise money,” he said. “I won’t be aligned with any political groups. The measure of my success will rely on my stance with community topics.”

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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