Supervisor races get two new faces
Competition for the open seats on the Nevada County Board of Supervisors just got more heated.
Two candidates emerged Tuesday just before the window closed on the deadline to file as a write-in.
Jedediah Biagi is the newest contender in the Grass Valley-centered District 3 race, which includes candidates Bruce Conklin, Linda Stevens, and John Spencer.
Pending certification by the elections office, Jean Gerard will be a candidate for the board position that represents the Nevada City area – District 1 – where she will face Nate Beason and Olivia Diaz.
The write-in candidates will face an uphill battle, as they compete with candidates whose names are listed clearly on the ballots.
Biagi runs the Millennium Smoke Shop, which sells clothing, tobacco and marijuana paraphernalia, and other items on Colfax Avenue in Grass Valley. He said he decided to become a write-in to speak for those who do not feel well-represented by the options and to help promote participation in the democratic process.
“I am trying to make a voice. Whether or not I get elected is not really the point, I just want people to notice us,” he said, saying he does not have a political affiliation. Biagi collected the 20 nomination signatures of registered voters in his district required by election code mostly from customers who came into his shop, he said.
He said he is hoping to draw support from “new voters or people who have not voted in a long time” and that he just wants to bring forth the issues important to him and others like him who are disenchanted with the options.
Some of the key concerns for Biagi are getting a medicinal marijuana dispenser in the area, the USA Patriot Act’s impact on civil rights issues, and growth.
He said concern about growth is the only issue he shares with his opponents, but that “I don’t really share our solutions. (My opponents support) either very aggressive growth or no growth,” he said. Biagi said he and his wife, Amy, have personally felt the crunch of the increased cost of living in Nevada County and have struggled to find affordable housing in the area ever since moving to the area almost four years ago from his hometown of Sacramento.
The second contender, Gerard, finished filing her paperwork to be a write-in just a few hours before the 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday. Her candidacy will depend upon the certification of her 20 nomination signatures by the elections office, which will be available today, said Clerk-Recorder Kathleen Smith.
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