South Lake Tahoe council seats still up in air; STPUD may have new faces
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — El Dorado County voters will have to be patient when waiting for the election results. As of noon Wednesday, votes from about 65% of registered voters have been counted.
However, there are still about 15,000 ballots that still needing to be tallied.
“I thought a lot more people would be voting in-person but it turns out most people were just dropping off their ballots,” said Bill O’Neill, registrar of voters.
There isn’t a breakdown of where those ballots are from so it’s unclear how much those additional votes will impact South Lake Tahoe races.
In the race for two city council seats, business owner Cristi Creegan is holding the lead over eight other candidates with about 17% of the vote (2,452 votes). Environmental activist John Friedrich is looking to take the second seat with almost 15% of the vote (2,134). However, Scott Robbins, who ran a “locals first” campaign, is less than 500 votes (1,670) behind Friedrich. Attorney Bruce Grego is 331 votes (1,239) behind Robbins and they are the only candidates to gain more than 1,000 votes thus far.
There have been 11,434 votes between the nine candidates.
Friedrich is happy with the results and is excited to serve on the council.
“I feel really great, I’m thankful for the support from the community,” Friedrich said adding that he’s excited to bring together the community and the expand the voices included in council decisions, including those of the youth, Latinx and Filipino communities.
He’s also looking forward to tackling some of the cities issues including affordable housing, employment opportunities and a sustainable economy.
In the Lake Valley Fire Protection District board race, John Rice is trying to hold his seat on the board with 14.3% of the vote (1,838). Leona Allen, who dropped out of the race in October, currently has 15% of the vote (1,893). The other seat may be grabbed by top vote getter Ronald Sitton, who has 17% (2,215).
Allen said she dropped out of the race early last month because she was going to be fighting fire with the Forest Service and thought there would be a conflict of interest.
She has been out on a fire for the past two weeks and had put the race out of her mind. She returned from the fire last night, eliminating the conflict, and awoke this morning to several congratulations messages. She said she will take the seat.
“Even after dropping out of the race, if that many people voted for me still then yes, I will take the seat,” Allen said. “I love Lake Valley, I love serving on the board, I love the direction the district is going.”
She said she will be focusing on getting the community more involved with the district.
South Tahoe Public Utility District may also have some new members. Incumbent Kelly Sheehan may be keeping her seat but Duane Wallace could possibly be unseated by civil engineer David Peterson in the race for the two full-term, four-year seats. Sheehan has 22% (5,081) and Peterson has 24% (5,449).
For the short-term two-year seat, environmental researcher Shane Romsos has taken a large lead with 40% (4,523) of the votes.
O’Neill said he will likely have an update by 5 p.m. on Friday.
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