The closest Calaveras County Board of Supervisors race in the June primary stayed true to form as results poured in from Tuesday night’s general election vote.
Rail Road Flat nonprofit executive Chris Wright held a narrow lead with 1,743 votes (51.6 percent) against West Point business owner Bryce Randall with 1,630 (48.3 percent) in District 2.
Wright was the top vote-getter in the primary but conservative former Supervisor Michael Dell’Orto quickly endorsed the right-leaning Randall following the June 5 vote.
The runoff opponents showed a clear ideological divide. Wright favored government-involved projects like Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions for getting people back to work in the district’s vast public lands and support for an increase in lodging taxes, while Randall has been a vocal advocate of private property rights, market-based solutions and no added tax burden.
Neither candidate was surprised by the closeness of the race after Tuesday’s counts.
“It’s pretty much what I was expecting in terms of being too close to call at this point,” Wright said.
“We figured it’d be tight,” Randall said.
Wright said he was pleased to be the one on top thus far even if by a slim margin.
“I’m happy to be a little bit in the lead,” he said. “I’m really proud of all the volunteer effort … (and) hats off to Bryce for running a great campaign, too.”
The winner, which will not be determined until outstanding absentee ballots are counted in coming days, succeeds Supervisor Steve Wilensky, of Glencoe. Wilensky is retiring after two terms and lent his endorsement to Wright in the race.
Randall said he hoped enough of the outstanding votes would be from his stronghold of West Point to make a difference in his favor.
“Protecting property rights and trying to get new jobs in, that’s what we kept hammering,” Randall said.