El Dorado supervisors spot still undecided | TahoeDailyTribune.com

El Dorado supervisors spot still undecided

Emily Aughinbaugh, Tribune staff writer

With 100 percent of El Dorado County precincts reporting, the District 2 supervisor seat could still be up for grabs.

Helen Baumann garnered 6,919 votes Tuesday and Ken Bush pulled in 6,658, but Registrar of Voters Michele MacIntyre said it could take up to two weeks to count the 600 remaining absentee ballots.

With only 261 votes separating the District 2 candidates, those absentee ballots could determine the winner.

Both Bush and Baumann said the waiting is a fact of life, but unnerving nonetheless.

“I had a nerve-racking night and we’re still waiting for the absentee ballots,” Baumann said. “I’m very encouraged, hopeful and a little overwhelmed, but I think we need to wait awhile before we go off the deep end.”

Although he trails Baumann, Bush said he’s encouraged by the fact that absentee ballots counted so far have come in his favor.

“There’s not too much you can do about it,” Bush said. “I know what (Republican presidential candidate George W.) Bush and (Democrat candidate vice president Al) Gore are feeling now. This is El Dorado County politics.”

One of the candidates will take over Supervisor Ray Nutting’s seat on Jan. 1. Nutting completed eight years on the board, which is the maximum two, four-year term limit.

He said he was sad to go but had faith in whomever his predecessor might be.

“I really enjoyed representing the citizens, but public office is not about the person who holds it, it’s about the people they represent,” Nutting said. “I think Baumann and Bush are highly qualified people, there’s no candidate who ran away with it. It’s so tight because they are two great candidates, two great, quality smart people.”

Baumann, a registered nurse and 20-year county resident, agreed with Bush on many of the issues. Baumann and Bush, a retired Sheriff’s deputy and 23-year county resident, have vocally campaigned in favor of the health community receiving Master Tobacco Settlement funds, supported growth and the developers involvement in paying for traffic mitigation, and sided with Measure H.

Measure H, allocating 50 percent of Vehicle License Fees, passed with almost 61 percent of the vote Tuesday.

Measure J, the other initiative on the ballot, passed with more than 58 percent of the vote. Measure J approved the use of county tax revenues on new commercial development for roadway improvements.

District 1 Supervisor Sam Bradley and District 3 Supervisor Mark Nielsen also completed their final term this year.

Carl Borelli took the District 3 spot with more than 50 percent of the votes in the March primary, and Rusty Dupray took almost 65 percent of the votes Tuesday to secure the District 1 seat.

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