Pierson pulls away early in DA race
El DORADO HILLS – With an initial staggering lead that never diminished, Vern Pierson appears to have defeated longtime incumbent Gary Lacy in the race for district attorney of El Dorado County on Tuesday.
Pierson’s camp, gathered at the Gold Key Cellars in El Dorado Hills, erupted when 17,606 absentee voters gave him a 61 percent edge to Lacy’s 39 percent in early voting.
With 58 of 122 precincts reporting the vote tally was Pierson, 15,868, Lacy, 9,415 – a 63 percent to 37 percent differential, according to the El Dorado County Web site.
Comments such as “It’s over,” and “When do you go to work?” were heard before several chants of “Na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey hey hey, good-bye!” circulated among the crowd of roughly 50 people.
Pierson, 42, had to wait about two hours until he could feel comfortable with an apparent victory. Provided the vote results are certified, he will go into office in January. He says his first goal is to create a transition team of law enforcement, district attorney’s office staff and others in the community to develop a plan of action – now that he can stop being a politician and return to being a prosecutor.
“Regardless of where they were in this campaign, I want everybody to feel they are a part of restoring the professionalism and integrity (in the district attorney’s office) that everybody in this county deserves,” Pierson said Tuesday evening.
For Lacy, 52, it was an apparent sound defeat after 12 years as district attorney, the second longest stretch in county history.
“It’s obviously disappointing and I don’t know what else to say,” Lacy said from his home. He added he wouldn’t change anything he did during his campaign or his time in office, and that he would help Pierson transition into the office in any way possible.
Former prosecutor turned defense attorney Erik Schlueter, who challenged but lost to Lacy four years ago, said morale in the leadership continued to suffer at the district attorney’s office after that race. “Four years too late, but still a good result,” he said while celebrating at the Pierson party.
In other El Dorado County races with 58 of 122 precincts reporting as of press time:
— In the contested race for 4th district supervisor, Ron Briggs was holding the edge with 32.9 percent of the vote followed by Norm Krizl with 27.4, Todd Schwenk at 13.9 percent, Wendell Smith at 11.2 percent, Al Vargas at 9 percent, Al Manard at 5 percent.
— For the contested county recorder-clerk race, incumbent Bill Shultz was leading by 80 percent of the vote over challenger Joseph Bayless with 19 percent.
— El Dorado County Sheriff Jeff Neves, who was uncontested, had 98 percent of the vote.
— Schools superintendent Vicki L. Barber ran uncontested had 98 percent of the vote.
— In the uncontested race for county assessor, Tim Holcomb had 99 percent of the vote
— In the uncontested race for county auditor-controller, Joe Harn had 98 percent of the vote.
— In the uncontested race for county surveyor, Dan Russell won 99 percent of the vote.
m For treasurer-tax collector, C.L. Raffety, who ran uncontested, won 99 percent of the vote.