Phimister, Wagoner, Proud on their way to bench |

Phimister, Wagoner, Proud on their way to bench

William Ferchland, Tribune staff writer

PLACERVILLE — El Dorado County voters selected Doug Phimister, James Wagoner and Daniel Proud as the next three Superior Court judges in Placerville, according to preliminary results.

Phimister, who spent the most of the six candidates with roughly $131,000, stood in a small room of the Republican headquarters in Placerville smiling under an orange cap.

The 61-year-old rancher and junior judge said he talked to friends familiar with numbers who advised him he should feel confident with his lead.

Phimister held a lead of 18,269 votes compared to private practice attorney Mary Muse’s 14,807 votes for the Superior Court Office 1 position with 125 of 157 precincts reporting.

Phimister held a card sent from his children that read “courage, honor, loyalty” on the front under an American flag.

He seemed more proud of the card than the results.

“I knew when this election was over I’d still have my integrity,” Phimister said. “It’s the most important thing a person can have.”

Muse could not be reached for comment.

Wagoner leading Becker

For judge in Superior Court Office 6, voters were leaning toward James Wagoner over David Becker.

Wagoner, assistant district attorney for El Dorado County, had a commanding 18,564 votes over Becker’s 12,344 based on preliminary results of 125 of 157 precincts reporting.

“It’s going really good right now,” Wagoner said Tuesday night. “I’m feeling pretty good right now. I just want to hold onto (the lead.)”

Wagoner held a campaign party at a house in Cameron Park with family, friends and campaign workers. He plans to take a weeklong trip to Hawaii on Friday.

Becker, a private practice attorney in Placerville, said he called Wagoner Tuesday night to congratulate him.

“I do feel the county will be well-served by the people selected in this election and I believe I can work well with them,” Becker said from a friend’s house in Cameron Park.

He added he doesn’t think he will run for the position in the future.

“I’m quite sure I won’t run again but if the governor calls and wants to appoint me to a position, I’ll give it considerate consideration,” he said.

Proud surpassing O’Brien

Private practice attorney Daniel Proud beat chief assistant district attorney Sean O’Brien, according to preliminary results. With 125 of 157 precincts reporting, Proud garnered 17,153 votes to O’Brien’s 14,061 for Superior Court judge in Office 5.

Proud, who entered the race on advice from friends and encouragement from his wife, could not be reached after repeated attempts to his Placerville office.

O’Brien, who was expected to be at the campaign party for district attorney Gary Lacy, could not be reached for comment.

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