Holbrook, Smith lead ARD vote count

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Incumbents Scott Holbrook and Curt Smith were on their way to victory in today’s four-man race for two seats on the Auburn Recreation District Board. Holbrook, seeking his fourth term, was leading vote getter, with early returns in. He’d garnered 30.38 percent of the vote, leading Smith (28.41 percent), Chris Asbury (17.47 percent) and Larry Tracy (23.03 percent). Holbrook said vote results were a confirmation that people understand the parks district, which covers Auburn, North Auburn and much of Meadow Vista, is moving in the right direction. Challenger Larry Tracy spent about $10,000 on his campaign to unseat the incumbents, used negative campaign ads in the days leading up to the election – a first in a relatively low-profile election. Holbrook said he spent about $1,900. “It’s an affirmation that money and mud won’t buy a seat on the ARD board,” Holbrook said. Holbrook and Smith found themselves fighting criticism during the campaign from fellow director Gordy Ainsleigh, who actively campaigned against both of them. Holbrook said he’ll be seeking a board censure of Ainsleigh – a collective, public reprimand that’s rarely undertaken by any form of government. Smith, who estimated campaign spending of just less than $1,000, said he won’t forget Ainsleigh’s role in the campaign. “But I spent 37 years as a contract negotiator for the government and you learn that even in the most difficult situations to be professional,” Smith said. Smith said the vote count was indicative of how a low-key campaign such as his can fare well in the Auburn area. “It speaks well on what we’ve done in the last four years and what we’ll do in the next four years, as the numbers appear,” Smith said. Tracy was reached by phone after early vote totals became available but said he’d wait for a better indication of how the election was going from different precincts before commenting. Asbury couldn’t be reached for comment.