A COUPLE OF MILD SURPRISES in Tuesday's election: Norm Solomon only pulled 10% of the vote as the Republican candidate, Dan Roberts, came in at about 11%, just enough to squeak Roberts into a November runoff with the blandly conservative Democrat, Jared Huffman. Huffman, then, is a shoo-in to become our Congressman. He's nearly identical to our former Congressman, Mike Thompson, who garnered 72% of the vote in his new district to the east of us. (Thompson's appeal remains a complete mystery to us until we remind ourselves that we are citizens of the country that twice elected George W. Bush el presidente. Us pwoggies have no one in the November Congressional race.
ROBERTS, we should say, is not one of these Fox News Republicans, defined here as that national mob of mean, stupid bastards fired up by Fox's neo-fascist cheerleaders. He's more of a traditional Repug who wants less government spending, more thrift generally. A widower with three grown children, Roberts mustered out of the Marine Corps as a captain, fought in Vietnam, runs his own business, lives in Tiburon, is a practicing Catholic. In other words, you're more likely to enjoy a beer with Roberts than any of your candy-assed pwog colleagues until you remember he is wrong on every single issue. Decent guy, though. (Personal note: When I was a kid, Tiburon, believe it or not, was still a working-class town. The mega-rich were clustered next door in Belvedere. Much of Tiburon's small population was employed by the Northwestern Pacific railroad at Tiburon, its southern terminus with repair shops, cargo for Frisco transfer point and offices. I played a summer of semi-pro baseball for Tiburon Pelicans, the biggest weekly event in the town every summer Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, the place is unrecognizable today, the old ball field with its tule swamp in center field buried in condos.)
AS EXPECTED, John McCowen was handily returned as Mendocino County's 2nd District supervisor over Andrea Longoria, a County worker supported by SEIU and casino money. Dan Gjerde, unopposed except for an eccentric write-in candidate called Rex ‘Slugger’ Gressett, was hugely supported for 4th District supervisor. Gjerde will replace the disastrous Kendall Smith. With Gjerde's election we think Mendocino County will enjoy its strongest board of supervisors in modern history — five people who conscientiously go about their work in an honest, thoughtful manner. Over the years, we've been lucky to have two out of five who knew what they were doing.
TERM LIMITS passed easily and, our second surprise, the smoke tax failed by a narrow margin. We assumed it would pass easily.
MOST ENCOURAGING, was Tom Lynch of Guerneville making it into a runoff with Wes ‘The Eternal’ Chesbro, career officeholder. Chesbro, however, somehow raked in 64% of the vote against Lynch's 23.2%, meaning Lynch is unlikely to free us from Chesbro in November.
THIS IS ALL preliminary. We don't know yet how many of the eligible turned out to vote and where the various candidates were strongest. Stay tuned.