Placer County primary election off and running toward June 5

Little-known, new candidates signing up
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Little-known new names are cropping up early in Placer County as the countdown starts on the June 5 primary and Nov. 6 presidential election. Signature-in-lieu petition collection officially started Friday and will last through Feb. 23. One of the prospective candidates signing on to gather signatures that will help defray election costs, Lincoln’s Jack Uppal said Tuesday that he’ll be seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, for the District 4 seat. Uppal, McClintock and any other candidates who register between now and the March 9 closure of the candidate filing period will be running against one another in an open primary. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the two leading vote-getters – no matter what party they belong to – will move on to a Nov. 6 runoff. A 57-year-old registered Democrat from Lincoln, Uppal said that while he has never sought elected office before, he has a skill set developed in nearly 20 years with Intel that relies heavily on negotiating skills that would serve the district well in Washington. Another newcomer from the Auburn area who has signaled his intent of running in the June 5 primary by taking out signature-in-lieu papers, Johnny Reeves is planning to take on U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, in the First District race. Reeves, a Democrat, said that he’s never campaigned for elected office but has volunteered on other campaigns over 30 years. “I’m finally putting my hat in the ring,” Reeves said. “I’m unemployed and on food stamps. You can bet it will be a grass roots sort of thing.” As well as the presidential primary, Placer County voters will be making choices for posts that include Congress, state Assembly, state Senate and county Board of Supervisors. There are now three Assembly districts sharing Placer County because of redistricting changes coming into effect. Rocklin’s Reginald Bronner was the first candidate to take out signature-in-lieu papers, for the 6th District seat. Three Board of Supervisors seats are up for election and incumbents Kirk Uhler (District 4) and Jennifer Montgomery (District 5) have started their petition drive for signatures. Supervisor Jim Holmes, of District 3, is also intending to run for reelection. Four judge’s seats are part of the election process in June. Judge Alan Pineschi took out signature-in-lieu papers Friday. Deputy District Attorney Suzanne Gazzaniga took out signature-in-lieu papers for the judgeship now occupied by Robert McElhany. Also see today's accompanying article "New laws cumbersome for Placer"