El Dorado Hills race still too close to call

Handful of votes still separating incumbent from challenger on CSD board
By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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The race to fill one remaining seat on the El Dorado Hills Community Services District Board continues to drag on. According to the El Dorado County Registrar’s website, as of Tuesday morning 20 votes separated Chuck Hammond and Billy Vandegrift who had 4,856 in to Hammond’s 4,836. About 20 votes have consistenty separated the two since the election, sometimes trading the lead vote-getting spot. Absentee ballots were expected to be tallied by the end of last week, leaving the provisional ballots to still be counted. El Dorado County Clerk-Recorder Bill Schultz said there were 1,324 provisional ballots to be sorted through. Provisional ballots are those cast by individuals who say they are registered voters but their names do not appear on the list. “We must first verify they are valid voters and must verify their signatures,” Schultz said. “It’s very labor intensive.” Of the 29,496 votes tallied in the district as of press time, Tony Rogozinski and Wayne Lowery had both secured seats with roughly 19.5 percent of the votes each. The two will be sworn in the first of the year. 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. Hammond, a popular local coach, said Thursday that regardless of the outcome of the votes he has already won. “I’m already on top,” he said. “Whatever the votes say that’s fine. I do want to be on that board, but with all the support I’ve had from my kids and their parents, I’ve already won.” Vandegrift echoed Hammond’s sentiments. “I’m good. Of course I’d like to win and work one more term and complete some more projects but I did a lot in the last four years,” Vandegrift said. “I feel pretty satisfied with that.”