Nutting closes in on race requirements |

Nutting closes in on race requirements

Greg Risling

Ray Nutting is inching closer to the amount of needed signatures for a state Assembly race later this year.

The El Dorado County supervisor has obtained more than 1,000 signatures but is still short 275, which he plans to gather this weekend. The forms are due in Sacramento no later than Wednesday.

If Nutting gets all of the signatures, he will face incumbent Thomas “Rico” Oller in a June primary for the 4th District State Assembly seat. Oller has stated he will run for a second term.

Nutting opted to collect 1,500 signatures from voters in the district’s six, rural counties rather than pay a $786 filing fee, which will be waived if he gets all the names. The 37-year-old supervisor, who represents the county’s southernmost section, said the signature drive is a way to test his political mettle.

“The only way I will get on the ballot is by citizens’ support,” he said. “This is a great way to show people I am committed to serving them.”

Most of the “in-lieu” signatures have come from his back yard, El Dorado County, but he has also knocked on doors in Amador and Placer counties.

“In the areas people aren’t familiar with me, I get a lot of questions which I welcome,” he added.

Entrenched in Republican country, Nutting’s biggest challenge would probably come in the runoff against Oller and any other GOP candidates. If he can survive what in recent years has turned into a no-holds slugfest, he has a good chance of emerging as the victor.

He must first set his sights on Oller, who has been in office since 1996 when he replaced his outgoing predecessor, David Knowles. Knowles had completed his three, two-year terms.

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