Beason, Diaz split vote
Months of campaigning saw no conclusion for Olivia Diaz and Nate Beason on Tuesday. The candidates for the Nevada County Board of Supervisors District 1 seat will face off again in November because neither topped 50 percent of the vote.
District 2 Supervisor Sue Horne won a second term by a landslide, and Truckee Town Councilman Ted Owens won the county’s District 5 seat without contest.
Horne popped a bottle of champagne Tuesday evening to celebrate her victory. According to unofficial election results, she trounced opponent Steve O’Rourke. Horne got 74 percent of District 2 votes, proving her popularity hadn’t waned since 2000, when she ran a successful campaign as a last-minute, write-in candidate.
“I am very honored and overjoyed by the support expressed by the voters tonight,” Horne said. “I am excited to put my full energies back into being a supervisor again.”
Diaz captured 46 percent of District 1 votes, while her opponent Beason received 38 percent. Josh Ramey, who will exit the race, racked up 16 percent of the votes.
Some Beason supporters said Ramey may have spoiled the race for him. However, Ramey disagreed.
“The purpose of a primary is to choose the top two candidates, and that is what will be done here,” Ramey said.
Diaz, who enjoyed a comfortable lead Tuesday evening, said the pool of Ramey supporters likely voted for him because he was a native. Ramey’s exit leaves his voters up for grabs, since both Diaz and Beason moved to Nevada County at the same time, Diaz said.
After a short break, Diaz said, she will be ready for the November faceoff.
She dined Tuesday night with her daughter Leslie of Pasadena and about 40 of her closest supporters at Kirby’s Creekside Restaurant in Nevada City.
The parking lot was packed with cars bearing “Vote Olivia Diaz” bumper stickers. Inside, they sipped drinks and ate pizza courtesy of the Diaz campaign.
“If we don’t win tonight, we’ll win in November,” Diaz said before results began to come in.
Beason attended an election party at Friar Tuck’s Bar and Restaurant in Nevada City. He said he couldn’t speculate how much the vote for Ramey may have taken away from him, or how Diaz’s late anti-Beason mailer may have hurt him.
“But I’ll tell you this,” he said. “That will remain a brick around her neck till November. I’m glad I stayed the high road.”
Ramey said he is proud of the support his campaign mustered, especially since he spent a mere $1,600 compared to tens of thousands spent by his opponents, he said. He said he hopes his plan for labeling wildfire-safe houses is pursued by the future board.
“We’ve run our campaign with honor and integrity. We’ll sleep good tonight without any regrets,” Ramey said.
O’Rourke’s unsuccessful bid for District 2 was also not in vain, he said, tipping his hat to Horne. O’Rourke spent Tuesday playing tennis with his 10-year-old son Jared and his classmate.
“It has been a tremendous experience. County government is a multi-headed beast,” O’Rourke said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Supervisor Horne. My ax is not to grind with her. I wish her all the best in working to make Nevada County a great place to live.”
O’Rourke said his campaign brought valuable issues to the forefront such as the lack of ballparks in Alta Sierra and the impacts of a potential “Super Sewer.”
The public interest is best served when there is competition, the international businessman said. It works in business and it works in politics, he said.
Truckee Mayor Ted Owens won District 5 with 95 percent of the votes. He was uncontested for the seat held by Supervisor Barbara Green, who was not seeking re-election.
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