Supes incumbent wins easily |

Supes incumbent wins easily

Amanda Fehd
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Norma Santiago watches the returns at an election party on Tuesday night.

Norma Santiago staked a claim for four more years in office Tuesday night, after unofficial election results showed overwhelming support for the incumbent El Dorado County District 5 supervisor.

With all precincts reporting as of press time, an elated Santiago had amassed 78 percent of the vote.

“People want to hear a positive message,” she said Tuesday night after seeing preliminary results in her favor. “They are tired of the divisiveness and browbeating. It’s time for a new perspective.”

Turnout appeared low with around 29 percent of the 14,000 registered voters showing up at the polls in District 5. Almost half of them were delivered in absentee ballots.

Her opponent Ted Long knew when absentee votes were tallied around 9 p.m. that the outlook was grim. The city councilman retained a good-natured smile at a subdued party at his home.

“Life goes on,” he said.

Voter turnout was disappointing, he said. He believed he did everything right in his campaign but “the letters to the editor were something we just couldn’t fight. That’s where we lost it, not on the issues.”

He predicted that in four years, there will be fewer teachers and a depressed economy. He said he’d come back one day and say, “I told you so.”

At Santiago’s party at the Rockwater Grill, the mood was celebratory as a small crowd watched a TV monitor scroll results. Cheers broke out every time results with more precincts showed Santiago’s clear lead.

Santiago took office in December after winning 35 percent of the vote in a special election with three other candidates in November. She barely beat out attorney Dennis Crabb, who had outspent her fivefold, and had accumulated a long list of endorsements.

Santiago said she will get right to work on strategic plans to create more jobs and diversify the economy.

Recorder Clerk Bill Schultz said the Web site’s results were showing three precincts not counted, but that in fact all of District 5 had been reported.

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