Heated race made headlines

archive_import

By ABBY SOUZA

From widely diverse views to accusations to the inevitable campaign pot shots, the District 2 race between Don Ratzlaff and Paolo Maffei will be remembered as the nastiest local race of the 2002 elections wild enough to put the duo among The Union Democrat's top newsmakers of 2002.

Maffei, a Phoenix Lake area resident, decided to run for office in late 2001.

At the time, he was one of four candidates, along with Judy Halling, a youth and families program director for the Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Agency; William "Brice" Canaday of Soulsbyville who later dropped out to support Halling and Don Ratzlaff, the incumbent hoping for a second term.

Problems started brewing even before the March primary, when Halling in February accused Maffei and District 3 candidate Jim Peterson of using unethical "big city" campaign tactics.

Maffei and Peterson, who together paid a college student to work on their campaigns and had a state Capital worker as a campaign volunteer, said the allegations were unfounded. Maffei admitted he was disorganized at the beginning, and said the second half of the campaign was run better than the first.

But that didn't end the early contentions.

Halling also said Maffei claimed she told him Ratzlaff asked her to run to split the vote.

In addition, Maffei believed Ratzlaff had something to do with his loss of an endorsement by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.

Ratzlaff called that allegation "a flat out lie."

That was when the Maffei-Ratzlaff feud really took off.

Maffei and Ratzlaff beat out Halling in March, leaving them to face voters in November. At the time, each said the race would hinge on growth and development, but it became an exercise in accusations involving the candidates and their supporters throughout the next seven months.

Less than a month after the primaries, a number of public interest groups accused Ratzlaff of calling the Sierra Business Council (SBC) in Truckee to cancel a meeting in Sonora.

11703156
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Friday September 30, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Fire threatens Hetch Hetchy infrastructure

09/26/2016

A fire burning in grass and oak woodland near the Moccasin Powerhouse ... more

Marshes Fire grows to 1,000 acres

09/27/2016

Firefighters with dirty faces and bulldozer drivers clad in fire-retardant gear toiled ... more

Hazard tree removal delayed

09/27/2016

Removal of trees destroyed last year by the Butte Fire may not ... more