Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Few challengers to county officials on June ballot

From page A1 | February 28, 2014 |

With a week to go before the March 7 filing deadline, Yolo County’s June ballot features just two contested races so far and several incumbents running unopposed for countywide offices.

Yolo County voters also will see two fewer elected offices on the ballot this year, thanks to the elimination of the elected office of auditor-controller/treasurer-tax collector in November 2012 and the consolidation of clerk-recorder and county assessor in November 2013.

The new office of clerk-recorder-assessor is the only countywide position other than judge to feature a race so far: Yolo County Senior Appraiser David Schwenger is running against incumbent Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters Freddie Oakley for the office.

Schwenger, a UC Davis graduate and Esparto resident, has been an appraiser with the county assessor’s office since 2007. Oakley has served as clerk-recorder since 2002.

Meanwhile, four candidates are vying for an open Superior Court judgeship: Yolo Superior Court Commissioner Janene Beronio, attorney J.P. Brennan, family law specialist Fredrick S. Cohen and Deputy Attorney General Larenda Delaini,

There will be no vote for auditor-controller/treasurer-tax collector this year, since voters in 2012 eliminated the office in favor of a finance director appointed by county supervisors. That appointment will occur when current Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector Howard Newens reaches the end of his elected term in office in December 2014.

With the elimination of that elected office and the consolidation of the two others, there are now five elected department heads in Yolo County, three of whom are incumbents currently running unopposed in June: District Attorney Jeff Reisig, Public Guardian/Administrator Cass Sylvia and Sheriff-Coroner Ed Prieto.

Prieto has served as sheriff since 1998, Sylvia as public guardian since 1999 and Reisig as district attorney since 2006.

The fifth elected department head is superintendent of schools, an office held by Jorge Ayala since 1998. But Ayala has announced his retirement and so far only Jesse Ortiz, a current member of the Yolo County Board of Education, has entered the race. Sam Neustadt also has announced his intention to run.

The three county supervisors up for election in June are all currently unopposed, including West Sacramento’s Oscar Villegas, who was appointed earlier this month to the 1st District seat vacated by Mike McGowan. McGowan’s term ran through 2016, but state law requires gubernatorial appointees to run for office in the next general election, meaning Villegas had to declare his candidacy almost immediately upon being appointed.

Also running unopposed as of Thursday are Supervisors Don Saylor, who has represented Davis in the 2nd District since 2010, and Matt Rexroad, who has represented Woodland in the 3rd District since 2006.

Superior Court Judges Tim Fall and Steven Basha are also unopposed on the June 3 ballot.

The deadline for filing to run for office is Friday, March 7. It will be extended five days in races where the incumbent does not file.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy




Anne Ternus-Bellamy

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