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Candidate field starting to unfold for June 5 election

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Candidate filing for the June 5 election has started. Voters in Newcastle are also already sending in their ballots to decide whether they’ll get a new station with paid staff. On the Placer County Board of Supervisors front, three incumbents – Jennifer Montgomery, Jim Holmes and Kirk Uhler – have been raising funds and girding for a fight. So far, Uhler is the only incumbent to be officially challenged – with Granite Bay resident Pam Tobin setting up a campaign committee and announcing she’s in the running for District 4. Holmes and Montgomery are both facing challenges – but neither of the prospective candidates have filled out the necessary forms to make them officially in the race. Both Mark Wright, a Weimar resident who may run in District 5, and Newcastle’s Bob Grigas in District 3, are threatening a run against the incumbents. Wright – like Grigas – has taken out signature-in-lieu papers that signal a possible challenge for the four-year post. But neither had filed as a candidate as of Monday. It’s still early. The close of the regular candidate-filing period is March 9. The filing period would be extended through March 14 if an incumbent decides not to run. “I’m still going around making sure I have the support from the community,” Wright said. “I want to be more involved in running the country and the county. This is a good place to start.” Formerly of Sacramento County and Redding, Wright has been a Weimar resident for six years. He has been a member of the Placer County Republican Central Committee for four years. Wright said he’s still deciding whether to run for the central committee again or supervisor. On Monday, candidates for party central committee elections were signing up at Placer County’s North Auburn elections division office. Ryan Ronco, assistant registrar of voters, said that the elections division office was also accepting voter registration for the March 6 Measure B election on firefighting funding. Monday was to be the last day but Ronco said the elections division would extend it one more day because of the Presidents Day holiday. The all-mail ballot has already garnered almost 1,000 returned ballots so far. As of Monday, there were 2,892 voters registered for the Newcastle Fire District vote. The breakdown is 1,369 Republicans and 813 Democrats. The remainder are smaller party registrants or voters who describe themselves as having no party preference.