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Five-candidate field for Placer supes 5th District

Incumbent Montgomery faces challenge after first term
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - It’s a five-candidate field for the Placer County Board of Supervisors eastern District 5 seat now held by Jennifer Montgomery. Montgomery will be challenged by three men named Johnson – Gary T. Johnson of the Colfax area, Jerry Johnson of Meadow Vista and Auburn’s Rich Johnson – plus Mark Wright of Colfax. The field was shaping up to be a three-candidate campaign early Friday afternoon but Wright and Gary Johnson filed their candidate’s papers by the deadline at 5 p.m. Montgomery, a Soda Springs resident, said she welcomes the challenge of an election campaign. With no previous elected-office experience, she beat out incumbent District 5 Supervisor Bruce Kranz to serve the voters of sprawling District 5. Redistricting has resulted in Auburn being included in the District 5 supervisorial district for the June 5 primary. If there is a runoff, the two leading vote-getters would proceed to the Nov. 6 general election. “It’s truly an opportunity to spotlight the many things we’ve achieved for communities in the district, from Auburn to Tahoe,” Montgomery said. Other candidates are primed for an election that will see them campaigning in communities as far-flung as Tahoe City and Foresthill. Rich Johnson, retired Tahoe National Forest American River District chief ranger, said the inclusion of Auburn in District 5 should provide a base of support. “With the new district boundaries including the city of Auburn, I’ve been getting a lot of feedback regarding the need for someone from Auburn on the ballot,” Rich Johnson said. Jerry Johnson issued a statement saying that as a prominent businessman and law enforcement figure, he wants to restore District 5 as a job generator. That includes increasing opportunities for local small businesses to grow and create jobs, he said. Gary Johnson cited his 16 years of experience on the Placer Hills School Board and another in Sonoma County as important qualifications. “I’m running because I want to make a difference in the community,” Gary Johnson said. “There’s probably going to be a runoff and with my experience, I probably have the best chance of being elected supervisor.” Wright, a six-year Colfax-area resident seeking elected office for the first time, said property rights will be an important part of his platform. “I’m running, basically because I really want to protect property rights,” Wright said. “And the current incumbent is not going to do it as well as I can. I’m also in favor of cutting back on regulations.”