Sherri Brennan was sailing towards victory Tuesday night in the race for Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors’ District 1.
Preliminary results from the county Elections Office show Brennan with a comfortable lead over incumbent Supervisor Liz Bass, 59.11 to 40.43 percent. According to the unofficial results, Brennan has received 2,095 votes, and Bass has received 1,433. An estimated 5,000 mail-in and 1,800 provisional ballots were counted Tuesday.
Bass has been the supervisor for two four-year terms for the district, which includes the city of Sonora and some adjacent areas. The former educator touted her experience in local government during the campaign, with Brennan promising to fight for private land-use rights and lower regulation.
Brennan said she’s “excited” about the preliminary results, saying the support her campaign has received is “incredible.”
The campaign, she said, “Wasn’t about talking about (Bass’) record as much as what I could do differently,” she said when reached Tuesday evening, adding the voters “have to applaud” Bass’ service on the board.
The two emerged as the top two vote getters in the June primary, with Brennan bringing in the highest number and Bass clinching second place by a handful of votes. Brennan out-raised Bass during the campaign by an almost two-to-one margin, with strong support from local agricultural interests.
Bass conceded the loss, but declined to comment further on the election when reached Tuesday.
Brennan’s victory could change the dynamic on the Board of Supervisors. While supervisor elections are officially nonpartisan, Bass was the only Democrat on the board for many years. Her departure also means four out of the five supervisors will have served for two years or less.
Dick Pland, the board’s current chairman and senior supervisor, opted not to run for re-election. With Bass no longer on the board, the change will make John Gray the senior member. Gray secured a second four-year term in the June primary by receiving more than 50 percent of the vote.
Brennan said she believes it’s “exciting” to have so much new energy on the Board of Supervisors. She pointed to multiple priorities for her and the board in the coming term, including revising the county’s Biological Resources Review Guide to make sure it less restrictive for developers.
“I think that the residents of Tuolumne County have sent a message. They want us to look at things with fresh eyes, and we’re gonna do that,” she said.