With Weygandt unopposed, focus due to shift to Rockholm-Duran supes race

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt may be moving toward an uncontested return to the Board of Supervisors seat he has held since 1994. And that could mean the political focus would shift solely to the Rocky Rockholm-Jack Duran campaign in Roseville’s District 1. Weygandt took out papers earlier this week to become a candidate for the District 2 seat in the June 8 primary. As of late Thursday and with just more than a week to go for candidates to register, no potential challenger had taken out or filed election papers at Placer County elections. Deadline to file is 5 p.m. March 12. While attempts to contact Weygandt over the past week have gone unanswered, one of his supporters – Lincoln Mayor Tom Cosgrove – said he’s heard of no one who’s willing to run against the veteran supervisor. Cosgrove can point to a strong showing in the last election to illustrate the support Weygandt can muster on Election Day in the Lincoln area. Despite being outspent 2-1 by challenger Jerry Simmons, a Loomis attorney and Sierra College board member, Weygandt was able to win about 70 percent of the vote. “That’s a strong statement about how they feel he’s doing his job,” Cosgrove said. “In general, people like what he’s doing.” Weygandt was able to raise $350,000 in 2006 from a cross-section of supporters. The total included $84,000 from the United Auburn Indian Community, owners of Thunder Valley Casino in District 2. Adding to the speculation, Weygandt’s year-end 2009 campaign-fund balance reported last month was a paltry $5,005 – compared with $70,000 four years earlier. In contrast Supervisor Kirk Uhler reported $20,958 and Jim Holmes had $2,082, when both those supervisors are not up for re-election this year. Weygandt’s public criticism of the board’s $30,000-per-supervisor annual compensation limitation and his virtual lack of fundraising had signaled a possible decision not to seek a return to office. Wally Reemelin, a frequent critic of Weygandt and the board’s actions in recent years, has endorsed challenger Jack Duran in his attempt to unseat District 1 Supervisor Rocky Rockholm. Reemelin said he’d heard the rumors about Weygandt. “Up until two weeks ago the message was he wasn’t going to run,” Reemelin said. Reemelin, president of the League of Placer County Taxpayers, said that the organization doesn’t endorse candidates and that his is a personal endorsement of Duran. With the good possibility that Weygandt won’t face a challenge, political attention and campaign funding shifts to the Roseville District 1 race. Rockholm, elected four years ago, reported to the elections division that he had a cash balance at the end of 2009 in his campaign fund of $13,812. Donors to the Rockholm campaign included Placer Vineyards Development LLC ($5,000), Teichert Aggregates ($500), Roseville developer Jim Conkey ($500) and the Law Office of Lo Duca and Avdis ($250). Conkey is proposing a Costco-Walmart-type development in North Auburn. Duran reported a $3,265 end-of-year-balance after taking in $6,600 in 2009. Donors included the Placer County Democratic Party ($2,500), Auburn Manor Holdings ($2,000), Stationary Engineers Local 39 ($2,000) and the Plumbers & Pipefitters union ($1,000). Local 39 has a service agreement with the Placer Public Employees Organization to represent the county’s largest employee organization in contract talks.