Shannan Moon starts with lead over Bill Smethers in sheriff’s race |

Shannan Moon starts with lead over Bill Smethers in sheriff’s race

Shannan Moon leads the race for Nevada County Sheriff after preliminary election results trickled in Tuesday night. Moon celebrated a hard-fought campaign with her constituents at ol' Republic Brewery.
Elias Funez/


Shannan Moon 13,985 55.9%

Bill Smethers 11,019 44.1%

Capt. Shannan Moon had a lead over Executive Lt. Bill Smethers Tuesday night in the race for Nevada County sheriff, though thousands of ballots remain uncounted.

Moon had 13,985 votes to Smethers’ 11,019 votes, or 55.9 percent to 44.1 percent, in the final vote tally Tuesday.

Elections officials counted 26,956 ballots Tuesday night. An estimated 50,000 people voted locally. Officials have said they’ll release two more updates, the next being Nov. 13, over the coming weeks.

“It’s great to be surrounded by friends and family,” said Moon, 50. “Watching those first numbers come out, it definitely feels good.”

“Watching those first numbers come out, it definitely feels good.”— Shannan Moon

Smethers, 51, noted that elections officials still have many ballots to tally.

“It’s still too early to even tell,” he added. “We’re still staying positive. We’re waiting until the final ballots are counted.”

Moon and Smethers advanced to the general election after coming in first and second, respectively, in the June primary election. Former Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster came in third and didn’t advance.

The tone of the sheriff’s campaign remained civil through both election cycles. The candidates joked with each other at forums. Moon and Smethers have worked at the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office for over two decades.

The candidates agreed on much during the campaign. Both want the Sheriff’s Office to focus on large, illegal grows and have county code compliance officers handle grow ordinance violations. Both also saw little need to change the existing policy for obtaining a concealed carry license.

Moon during the campaign emphasized the need for a strategic plan for the Sheriff’s Office. She said the office must have a uniform plan that addresses its needs. The plan, released to the public, would also show the office’s transparency.

Smethers discussed the need for his five-point plan. It focused on a problem-oriented policing team of several law enforcement agencies; the protection of children and schools; addressing the needs of rural areas; expanding technology; and maximizing the funding the Sheriff’s Office receives.

Alan Riquelmy is a staff writer at The Union, a sister publication of the Sun. Contact him at or call 530-477-4239.

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