Election 2010: Vernon beats Meagher for Treasurer-Tax Collector | SierraSun.com

Election 2010: Vernon beats Meagher for Treasurer-Tax Collector

Kyle Magin
Sun News Service

NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. and#8212; After fighting the most contentious local campaign of this election season, Tina Vernon defeated opponent Dai Meagher late Tuesday night in the race for Nevada County’s Treasurer-Tax Collector.

and#8220;I had a good feeling in my bones today,and#8221; Vernon said. and#8220;I’ve been hearing people say a lot of good things over the last few weeks.and#8221;

She waited for results with family, supporters and the camp of Independent U.S. Congress Candidate Ben Emery at the National Hotel in Nevada City.

Vernon’s and#8220;heart jumped into her throatand#8221; when the first batch of results showed her leading, she said.

Meagher’s camp was waiting on results at Maria’s Restaurant in Grass Valley.

and#8220;Well, it’s not what we expected,and#8221; Meagher said of losing to Vernon. and#8220;Running for office is definitely a lot of work.and#8221;

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Meagher, 49, and Vernon, 39, were challengers for the seat, vacated in late 2009 when longtime Treasurer E. Christina Dabis resigned three years into her four-year term.

The campaign turned nasty at times, supporters for both candidates said. Earlier in the campaign, revelations came out about each candidate’s financial past, with Vernon filing for bankruptcy in the mid-1990s and a tax lien filed against Meagher’s business around the same time. Both sides blamed the other for leaking the information.

and#8220;That solidified our resolve for Tina because we know her as a person,and#8221; said John Lynch, a Lake of the Pines resident showing his support for Vernon at the National on Tuesday.

Former Nevada City Treasurer George Foster continued to tout Meagher’s qualifications as a Certified Public Accountant at the candidate’s Grass Valley gathering.

and#8220;The community really needs a qualified outsider to take on the county’s monetary responsibilities who is competent to live up to them,and#8221; Foster said.

Vernon, a financial analyst in the Nevada County CEO’s office, was groomed by Dabis for the position. A former Democrat, Vernon registered with the GOP in 2008. She spent the final day of the campaign relaxing after a busy schedule, she said.

Meagher, who owns a Grass Valley accounting firm, trumpeted his and#8220;superiorand#8221; qualifications as a CPA. Meagher registered as a decline to state voter this year, switching from the Democratic Party. He became a Democrat in 2008 after switching from the Republican Party.

He spent part of the final day of the campaign shaking hands at Sierra College.