CSD race down to the wire

By: Eric Laughlin Telegraph correspondent
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Only 20 votes were the difference between two candidates Monday morning in the race to fill three seats on the El Dorado Hills Community Services District Board. According to official results, it's clear that incumbent Tony Rogozinski and challenger/former CSD Manager Wayne Lowery will be sworn in at the first of the year, but another incumbent, Billy Vandegrift, was trailing challenger and popular athletic coach Chuck Hammond with an unknown amount of absentee votes yet to be tallied. The El Dorado County Registrar's website, which has been updated every day at 5 p.m., shows Hammond with 3,972 votes to Vandegrift's 3,7952. Of the 24,727 total votes tallied so far in the district, Rogozinski and Lowery both led the pack, each getting roughly 19 percent. Those who didn't make the top three were incumbent Justin Masters, who got 14.41 percent of the vote, and Dave Keneller with 13.03 percent. El Dorado County Clerk-Recorder Bill Schultz said it's impossible to know exactly how many ballots are left in the district, but that there are roughly 14,000 yet to be counted countywide. "On (Thursday), we had about 16,000," he said. "(By Friday we were) down to 14,000, so we are making progress." He said it would probably be 10 days before the election is finalized. Hammond said Friday he's confident that he'll pull through with a victory. "I've been on pins and needles, but we have a good feeling about it at this point," he said. He went on to credit a positive campaign that involved spreading the word among the families of his young athletes. Rogozinski said he was delighted with the results so far and remains hopeful that Vandegrift pulls off a victory. "We don't necessarily always agree on things, but he's very logical and a good guy to have on the board," Rogozinski said. "But I'll gladly work together with Wayne Lowery and Chuck Hammond to continue making good things happen in the district." Vandegrift said Friday he's also hopeful for a victory. "There won't be any concession speeches anytime soon," he said. "It is what it is, but I'm optimistic, you have to be."