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Vote certified: New clerk-recorder stayed away election day

Natalie Adona, Nevada County’s next clerk-recorder/registrar of voters, spent election day in Truckee.

As the assistant to Clerk-Recorder Greg Diaz and a candidate for his job, Adona had removed herself from certain processes. She didn’t want to be near that day’s tabulation of votes, and Truckee seemed like a good spot.

She had extra envelopes and supplies, and was ready to answer any questions that might come up.

“I didn’t really think much about the results on purpose,” she said.

Then, about 10 to 15 minutes after the polls closed, she called the office to see how the night was progressing and ask about the results. She had 10,640 votes at that time, or 72.9% of the vote. Her closest opponent, Jason Tedder, had 3,011 votes, or 20.6%.

And while the margin changed over the weeks as elections officials tallied the votes, Adona’s lead never appeared in question. With Wednesday’s certification of the vote — Adona won 22,800 votes, or 67.89% — she will become the county’s next clerk-recorder/registrar of voters.

Diaz didn’t run for reelection.

“I could not have done it without the support of the community,” Adona said.

The clerk-recorder race was the most contentious this election. An effort to recall all five supervisors led to a scuffle on Jan. 20 between recall supporters and elections officials. Court documents state the supporters, who weren’t wearing masks, pushed their way inside. Weeks later a restraining order was issued against one of the three supporters.

Then came an attack mailer against Adona listing unsubstantiated accusations and paid for by a group calling itself Americans for Good Government.

“It was definitely a baptism by fire,” Adonsa said. “I have never run for office before. It was stressful at times.”

Adona said she made a point of not letting other people bring her down. She chose not to go negative in her campaign and instead focused on issues and why people should vote for her.

Adona praised elections staff, saying they were pulled into a political situation when they only want to do their jobs.

“They’ve held up great during all of this,” she said. “All in all, it is an experience I will never forget.”


Nevada County had 37,990 people cast a ballot out of 75,368 registered voters, a turnout of 50.4%.

Adona won with 22,800 votes, or 67.89%. Tedder had 7,843 votes, or 23.35%. Paul Gilbert had 2,942 votes, 8.76%.

Former Grass Valley Councilwomen Lisa Swarthout and Patti Ingram Spencer will go to a runoff in the District 3 Board of Supervisors race. Swarthout has 2,864 votes, or 48.43%. Ingram Spencer has 1,841 votes, or 31.13%. Valentina Masterz has 1,209 votes, 20.44%.

Incumbent Dan Miller didn’t run for reelection.

Incumbent Sue Hoek won her District 4 supervisor race with 6,026 votes, or 82.59%. Calvin Clark took 1,270 votes, or 17.41%.

Adam Kline and Lou Ceci are poised to take two seats on the Nevada City Council, with 863 and 743 votes, respectively. Incumbent Erin Minett received 673 votes, and Ken Merdinger got 140.

Rob Tribble has 16,929 votes, or 54.79%, in the auditor-controller race. Gina Will has 13,969 votes, or 45.21%.

Incumbent Marcia Salter didn’t run for reelection.

An attorney for Will on Friday sent a letter to the elections office asking for an investigation into Tribble’s qualifications to hold office. Elections officials said their office has no authority to investigate and forwarded the issue to the District Attorney’s Office and state Justice Department.

In the assessor race, Rolf Kleinhans has 22,196 votes, or 71.91%. Gerald Bushore has 8,672 votes, or 28.09%.

Incumbent Sue Horne didn’t run for reelection.

Alan Riquelmy is the managing editor of The Union. He can be reached at ariquelmy@theunion.com or 530-477-4249



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