Long, Weber end up on top
The two men who will join the South Lake Tahoe City Council would be the first to share their winning campaign strategy – it’s the relationships, voters.
Incoming council members Ted Long and Mike Weber decompressed after their election victories Wednesday by sharing comfort food with close supporters.
The duo raked in more than 40 percent of the vote to edge out table games supervisor Pat Frega; businessman Jeff Williams; attorney Bruce Grego and recreational advocate Stephen Reinhard.
The results should be finalized by Nov. 12, County Registrar Bill Schultz said Wednesday.
Long took out his No. 1 supporter – his wife, Natasha – for breakfast at Ernie’s Coffee Shop, where he consumed a Tahoe Scram.
Beyond nourishment, Long said he fielded many calls from those who wished him the best in his journey on the high-profile government panel.
Weber joined outgoing Mayor Tom Davis, who wraps up three terms come Dec. 7, for lunch at a Chinese restaurant before taking down signs.
The two incoming council members replace Davis and Judy Brown, who has also elected to move on after two terms on the council.
The job pays $452 a month and the terms last four years.
“You know, when you run for public office, you find out who your friends are,” Weber said.
The businessman, who had never run for public office before this year, found out he won when he went on the Internet at 2:30 a.m. South Lake Tahoe election results came in late Wednesday morning.
“Now, this is the fun part. It’s exciting – like Christmas,” Weber said.
The former owner of Chase’s Bar & Grill at the Lake Tahoe Airport pounded the pavement and enjoyed it – one-on-one and in small groups.
“I liked it because people weren’t afraid to tell me the truth. I may not have agreed with them, but it was good to listen,” he said. “We ran a good campaign. But I don’t think anybody worked harder than Ted (Long).”
Long flashed his sense of humor when contemplating Wednesday the reason he received the most votes with 22.9 percent.
He attributes his winning campaign to his classic yellow 1960 Porsche adorned with a huge sign on the door, along with his dedication to press the flesh with voters.
“If I look at the statistics, it’s got to be the knocking on doors,” he said.
Even in bad weather, Long was out and about doing voter outreach.
“I’d like to believe that in the end I’ve tried to demonstrate my ability to build relationships. Now I plan to do that to build our town,” he said.
The other four candidates pledged their further commitment to the community in various ways and different degrees.
Reinhard said this was his last run.
“Obviously, from my last-place finish, that what I bring to politics isn’t desired by the residents,” he said.
“I’ve been committed to the community for a long time. I don’t see me going away. The fellows ran a good campaign. I met nice people. Now, I’m looking forward to quality time with my family,” Frega said.
Grego, who admitted to being a little surprised by the outcome, wished the winners luck in their endeavors.
“I don’t feel bad about the process. It gave me the opportunity to express me views,” said Grego, who was uncertain at this point whether he would run again.
“If things improve, why disturb the apple cart?” he asked.
Williams said he wouldn’t shut the door on running again.
“It was an interesting process for being the first time,” he said.
He pondered the news as a sigh of relief.
“The rat race is over. I didn’t win, but I fought a good race,” he said, turning his attention to the winning candidates. “I called Mike this morning and told him: ‘Get out of bed, you’ve got a lot to do.'”
– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at email@example.com