Houston endorses Montgomery

Candidate gets nod over incumbent Kranz in 5th District supes race
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Bob Houston, the candidate who finished third in the June election for 5th District Placer County supervisor, has decided to endorse Jennifer Montgomery over Bruce Kranz. The election three months ago left no candidate with 50 percent of the vote and set up a two-person runoff between Montgomery, a political newcomer from Serene Lakes who topped the polls with 41.29 percent of the vote, and first-term Supervisor Kranz, who polled 36.9 percent. Houston trailed with 21.52 percent. Immediately after the election, the Meadow Vista resident was undecided on whether to support either candidate, or even to make an endorsement. From a mathematical standpoint, the Houston endorsement provides a huge advantage in votes over Kranz, when the two candidates’ totals from the primary are combined. But Montgomery said she’s taking nothing for granted in advance of the Nov. 4 election, while being grateful for support from someone who shares many of the same values. Houston said that in meetings with Montgomery over the summer he came away impressed with her work ethic and willingness to learn about issues facing government. Kranz said that Houston, who’s a registered Republican, gave up on his core values and endorsed Montgomery — who’s a registered Democrat —– out of “revenge” for a contract his son, Doug, had with the county that was not renewed last year. “He (Doug Houston) believed I was at the bottom of that,” Kranz said. Bob and Doug Houston’s Houston Group lobbying business had a contract with the county that was not renewed but both said that they weren’t seeking any kind of revenge against Kranz Doug Houston said he didn’t know what transpired before the firm lost what he called a modest contract to do lobbying work at the state Capitol but that county CEO Tom Miller had said there was a lot of overlap with four lobbyists, “and I have to take that to heart,” Doug Houston said. Bob Houston said the way it was explained was that it was based on the economics of the county. “And we accepted it readily,” he said. The former opponents Kranz and Houston did meet to talk about an endorsement. Kranz said Houston concentrated on talking about the lost contract while Houston said Kranz showed little humility in discussions about campaign tactics that brought his family into the election debate. With the endorsement has come support from the Houston camp. A statement from the Montgomery campaign said Houston supporters such as Auburn businesswoman Joanne Neft, North Tahoe businessman Roger Kahn and Foresthill attorney Brian Connelly are now backing her election. Kranz points to the support of state legislators such as Sen. Dave Cox and Sen. Sam Aanestad, as well as Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner as examples of the backing he is receiving. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at or comment at