Newcomer Harris is top vote-getter |

Newcomer Harris is top vote-getter

Nevada City voters supported a fresh face for their City Council in a big way Tuesday.

In the four-way contest for three seats on the City Council, political newcomer Sally Harris garnered 822 votes, 92 more than the second-place candidate, incumbent David McKay, according to unofficial election results. Incumbent Steve Cottrell picked up 656 votes for third place, while challenger Ruth Poulter’s 581 votes were not enough to earn a seat on the panel.

Considering that City Council candidates are traditionally separated by about a dozen votes or less, was Harris surprised by her huge number?

“Absolutely,” she said after the final precinct tallies were posted Tuesday night. “It definitely helped that I went to every single door.”

McKay, meanwhile, was out on the town Tuesday night, working off nervous energy while the votes were being counted. But he wasn’t schmoozing at campaign parties.

“I start taking down my campaign signs. That’s how I keep busy,” he said shortly before the polls closed. “Why sit there and pace like a caged animal?”

Late Tuesday, after the unofficial results were in, McKay said he was excited by the 739 votes he received. Like Harris, he attributed his showing to knocking on doors of about two-thirds of the registered voters in the city.

Like Harris this year, McKay racked up the most votes for the council in March 2000, when he was a self-proclaimed “political virgin.”

“I had no record; there was no water under the bridge,” he said. “I just knew I wasn’t going to be the top vote-getter this year.”

As far as Poulter’s fourth-place finish, Cottrell said he was “hoping to see two fresh faces rather than one” on the council.

“I’m very happy people decided to return me for another four years,” he said. “I’m very upset Ruth Poulter won’t be sitting at the table.”

Poulter could not be reached for comment after election results were released Tuesday night.

Harris said she has a list of eight candidates to choose from as her appointee to the Nevada City Planning Commission. She said she will wait until she is officially sworn in to make a decision. Cottrell said he hopes his appointee, Poulter, will continue to serve on the commission.

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