By JASON ECK
Sonora Mayor Liz Bass won a third term on the City Council and political newcomer Hank Russell also claimed a council seat in Tuesdays primary election.
Russell, a retired hospital manager from the Bay Area, will join the council in July. He will replace Jack Rucker, who will step down after four terms 16 years on the council.
A third candidate for the two council seats, Sonora businessman and planning commissioner Dean Zaharias, finished third with 27 percent of the vote, or 365 votes. He lost by 80 votes.
The unofficial results: Bass received 529 votes, or 39.5 percent, and Russell received 445 votes, or 33.2 percent.
Bass, 61, a retired teacher and principal, said Tuesday night she was thrilled with the results.
Its a validation of the job Im doing, she said. That feels good.
Bass said her campaign was based on her record and accomplishments. Bass said she made several public appearances but did not put up signs. She said doing so doesnt match my personality.
Bass first won election to the City Council in 1994, and was re-elected in 1998.
Russell, 64, retired from the Kaiser Permanente corporate offices, bought a home in Sonora in June 1998 and moved here full time in September 1998 with his wife, Tracy. They had previously lived in Piedmont.
Im grateful I got the support I did, Russell said, adding that Zaharias ran a tough campaign.
Russell began attending some council meetings and became a member of the citys Parking and Traffic Commission. He also serves on the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Local Transportation Committee.
Russell said he wants to show citizens how the city spends money in an easy, understandable format.
I think the city should be able to create a pie chart showing the way the discretionary money is spent, he said.