Tice-Raskin takes lead in judge race
Early returns showed federal prosecutor Rob Tice-Raskin ahead of Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Ferguson in the race for the Nevada County Superior Court judge seat being vacated by retiring Judge Sean Dowling.
The two veteran prosecutors faced off Tuesday after becoming the two top vote-getters in a field of five candidates during the June primary.
By 11:14 p.m., with 84 of 84 precincts reporting, Tice-Raskin led by more than 2,500 votes — 57 percent to Ferguson’s 43 percent.
More than 10,000 vote-by-mail ballots were yet to be counted, however.
At the GOP get-together at Smiley Guys Smokehouse early Tuesday evening, Ferguson was relaxed, saying she did not expect the race to be decided early and did not plan to stay up watching election results.
“I did take tomorrow off, to pull my campaign signs as soon as possible,” she said. “And I will recycle them.”
Ferguson added, “It’s all good. I love my job, and I really do feel like I can’t lose. I literally will be happy with the will of the voters.”
Just before the polls closed, Tice-Raskin said, “We put our best foot forward, and we’ve done our best to reach out to the 60,000 voters in this county, in as many ways as possible. I feel like, at this point, the community’s had a good chance to get to know who I am … that I would serve them well as judge.
“At this point, it’s (gone) to the jury, and I look forward to their decision,” he added.
Both candidates had touted their substantial criminal and civil legal experience — Ferguson cited more than 100 jury trials under her belt, while Tice-Raskin emphasized his 25 years of experience, including the fact that he has served as a judge pro tem in Nevada County, handling civil cases, for the last seven years.
Ferguson said she would provide a “fresh voice” challenging a bench in politically liberal lockstep, calling herself an independent, with fresh ideas and a new perspective.
Tice-Raskin said that he would not come onto the bench with an agenda, political or otherwise, and said that he would evaluate how the system was working before he started tinkering with it.
Tice-Raskin pointed to his endorsements from every sitting judge, the local bar association and the union that represents court employees.
But in the end, it might have come down to money.
Tice-Raskin outspent his opponent nearly four to one, raising nearly $76,000 in campaign contributions as of Sept. 30, while Ferguson listed slightly more than $19,000 raised.
Ferguson said she was happy with the amount of money she spent on the campaign, citing her belief in being fiscally conservative.
By 11:30 p.m., Tice-Raskin had headed home, saying, “My daughter (7-year-old Addison) had fallen asleep by the piano … It was time to call it an evening.”
“I’m feeling pretty confident,” he said, adding that he would wait for the final numbers to come in.
“I’m very pleased with the results as of 11:14 p.m.,” Tice-Raskin said. “At this point, I wish to thank Nevada County for placing their trust and confidence in me. (If I win) it will be my honor, privilege and joy to serve the community as a member of the court.”
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.
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