Heidi Hall leads supervisor race; runoff in limbo
Incumbent Nevada County Supervisor Heidi Hall holds a decisive initial lead in the race for the District 1 seat with 48% of the vote, while challengers Deborah Wilder and Michael Taylor, separated by just one vote, still hope to force a November runoff election.
With 37% of ballots counted, Hall received 2,566 votes compared to 1,386 for Wilder and 1,385 for Taylor. If Hall earns a majority of the vote, she will win the seat outright without having to campaign for a November runoff. Elections officials have 30 days from the election to certify the results.
“It feels great, I’d love to see this end now and not have to go on to the general,” Hall said Tuesday night. “It’s close. I’m very happy with the initial results, but we’ll see what happens.”
Hall’s campaign rested largely on results from her past three years as supervisor, particularly in efforts in addressing homelessness and fire preparation, which she said would continue to be a priority. According to Hall, gaining the support needed to avoid another election would demonstrate confidence in her leadership.
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“Yeah, I’d say that’s absolutely a vote of confidence, absolutely and that would feel really great,” Hall said Tuesday. “I love this job, I’m working very hard and I’m trying to be responsive to the needs of the community and I’m really excited to be able to do it for another four years.”
Wilder and Taylor during their campaigns argued that progress from the county was lacking, especially in regards to emergency preparedness, economic development and affordable housing.
Wilder offered community-based, fire danger prioritization as an alternative, including reintroducing Community Emergency Response Team training to the county while Taylor emphasized the need for building and development, including giving staff more leeway in interpreting building codes.
Both campaigns thanked supporters and said they’d continue holding out hopes for a victory until results are final.
“In short, I’m ecstatic and truly humbled by the support I’ve received,” Taylor said Wednesday. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there are three or four more votes still out there for me, postmarked yesterday,”
Wilder said she considers her campaign a success for Nevada County residents whether she moves on or not because the county has decided to re-emphasize its CERT program in the future.
“Because I was such a relentless advocate about the CERT program, I’m happy to know the county has decided to re-implement the program and that’s going to help everyone,” Wilder said Wednesday. “So whether I win or go to a runoff or not, I consider this is a win.”
Taylor said he looks forward to the possibility of a runoff and believes it would be in the best interest of the voters.
“The people of our community want their voices to be heard and they deserve a supervisor who is responsive,” Taylor said. “Having a runoff means the important conversations our community wants to have will continue in this extended opportunity rather than things simply falling back to the same old status quo.”
Wilder said she was surprised at the turnout, but did all she could and is now content to not stress until the final count is in.
“There’s lots of people who mailed their ballots over the weekend whose ballots won’t even arrive until Friday,” Wilder said. “We’re just going to have to wait for the results next week. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s going to be whatever it’s going to be.”
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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