Election 2008: Lower turnout expected than presidential primary | TheUnion.com

Election 2008: Lower turnout expected than presidential primary

Dave Moller and Trina Kleist
Staff Writers

A lower turnout is expected Tuesday in Nevada County for the primary election than February’s presidential primary, based on the number of early ballots cast.

County Clerk-Recorder Gregory Diaz said about 14,000 mail and early walk-in ballots have been cast so far out of almost 61,000 registered voters. That’s 30 percent less than the approximate 20,000 that voted early a few days before the presidential primary.

The February special primary eventually drew almost 26,500 early ballots out of more than 40,000 cast for a 67 percent turnout, Diaz said Sunday.

“Mail ballots can be dropped off at the Rood Center or one of the polling places by 8 p.m.,” Diaz said. “They will be counted.”

The county’s top elections official said preparations are running smoothly.

“We’re looking for a trouble-free election day and hope the results will be in quickly,” Diaz said.

In local elections, voters face key decisions on representation in the House of Representatives and the state Assembly. Area Republicans, especially, have an array of choices.

In the race for the 4th Congressional District, one of the key choices facing Republicans is core philosophy versus attention to local issues.

The leading candidates, Tom McClintock and Doug Ose, both live outside the district. Ose claims Northern California roots and has at least mentioned key concerns such as building the Dorsey Drive interchange.

McClintock, a state senator from Southern California, has run for a variety of state offices in the past. He has tried to lay claim to the conservative mantle, painting Ose as a “liberal” Republican.

Two other Republican candidates, Suzanne Jones of Citrus Heights and Ted Terbolizard of Cedar Ridge, both live in the district. Terbolizard has campaigned on a libertarian reading of the Constitution, advocating a reduction in government and letting private enterprise have more control in areas such as foreign policy and education.

Jones has said her party has moved too far to the left, criticizing the Bush administration for deficit spending, but supporting the war in Iraq.

Among Democrats, Charlie Brown has campaigned on veterans issues, strong military defense and putting action to meet national needs above partisan politics. He also advocated greater federal funding to replace money lost to local schools due to slow timber sales. Brown’s opponent, John Wolfgram, has a libertarian view of government, saying the chief problems to solve is government corruption and restoring congressional authority.

Assembly race has local candidate

In the race for the 3rd District Assembly seat, only the Republican nomination is contested in the race between Sue Horne, a county supervisor from southern Nevada County, and Dan Logue, a supervisor from Yuba County.

The race has turned ugly in recent weeks, with the two sides accusing each other of misrepesenting facts in their campaigns and resulting censure votes by county Republican organizations.

Despite the mudslinging, little separates Horne and Logue on issues of concern to most Republicans such as immigration, national defense, support of the Iraq war and willingness to explore nuclear power as an energy alternative.

Horne has shown more knowledge of local issues, including transportation needs, interest in reviving the timber industry and the difficult balance between growth and preserving the area’s natural beauty. Logue has received support from major national organizations, including the gun lobby.

Vote for three in Nevada City

In Nevada City, four people are vying for three open seats on the City Council. Voters may select three.

They are:

• Gene Downing, a Vietnam War veteran who sprinkled his public statements with spicey language, called himself “a property rights advocate and an independent thinker.”

• Robert Bergman, a city planning commissioner, is a soft-spoken, real estate lawyer who said he would listen to the people and try to be fair-minded.

• Phogographer David McKay has served two terms on the council. He said he sees his role as a servant-leader and thinks the city is going in a good direction.

• Reinette Senum called herself a community activist, and she helped form local alternative energy and energy conservation organizations. She wants to encourage green programs and revitalize downtown by creating a market for locally grown food.

In the city clerk’s race, Councilman Steve Cottrell said he would work to make the clerk an appointed position, with many of the current clerk functions going to city staff. Niel Locke, a former city treasurer, would keep the office an elected one and restore to it duties that have been passed to staff, saying the city needs the additional watchful eye on finances.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call 477-4237.

To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail tkleist@theunion.com or call 477-4230.

Primary Election

When: Tuesday, June 3

Polls open: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Online info: For non-partisan voting information, go to http://www.smartvoter.org.

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