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Roberts looks to win open seat in District 3 supervisors race

Dave Roberts has a lead Wednesday morning in the District 3 county Board of Supervisors race over Republican Steve Danon, reversing the lead Danon held for much of Tuesday Night.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, but with approximately 475,000 absentee and provisional ballots still to be counted as of 8 a.m., Roberts holds a lead of 1,896 votes. Roberts has received 69,131 votes compared to Dannon who has collected 67,235 votes.

The district seat was left open after long-time District 3 Supervisor Pam Slater-Price announced early this year that she would not be seeking another term. Slater-Price endorsed Roberts early in the year.

As the 11 p.m. hour wore on Tuesday night, Danon held the lead he initially took with absentee returns released at 8 p.m, but it was of less than 1 percent and diminishing with each update.

"I think the trend is in our direction," Slater-Price said. "He [Roberts] clearly is such a superior candidate."

Calling him the hardest worker she'd ever seen, Slater-Price was only trying to read the tea leaves, but her assumption of trends was correct. By the time updates came in around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, Roberts had taken a lead. With the final updates, he had reversed the situation entirely, taking a lead roughly as large as Danon's was for much of Tuesday night with 50.7 percent of the vote and all precincts reporting.

The results are yet to be official, but it appears Roberts may have become the county's first Democratic supervisor since Leon Williams in 1994.

More than $830,000 was raised between the two candidates since the beginning of the year, making the race something to watch considering the Board of Supervisors has not only not seen a new face in 16 years, but hasn’t seen a Democratic representative for an even longer stretch.

In the June primary, Danon led the pack of five candidates, taking nearly 34 percent of the vote. Roberts forced the runoff with a vote share of just under 31.5 percent while the third- and fourth-place finishers, Republicans Carl Hilliard and Bryan Ziegler, accounted for more than 28 percent of the returns.

Both candidates had campaigned on job creation and county employee pension reform. Roberts has suggested a pension cap that would end $100,000-plus pensions, while Danon wants to eliminate taxpayer-funded pensions altogether, favoring a 401(k)-style plan for county employees.

The two candidates differ greatly on their views of the county’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Program, which puts $1 million in discretionary funding for community groups and causes into the hands of each of the five supervisors. Danon has called it a “slush fund” while Roberts regards it as critical to supporting communities around the county.

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