No recount in Nevada County clerk-recorder race
Randy Economy, the Southern California talk show host and a former key player in last year’s gubernatorial recall effort, said Monday he won’t pay for a recount in the Nevada County clerk-recorder race.
The move stops the process, meaning no recount in that race will occur.
Economy needed to pay $10,096 by today before the recount could begin, and $1,813.04 for each day it took. The estimated cost of the entire recount, expected to last 38 days, was $82,728.06.
“That’s more money than all the candidates spent in that election combined,” Economy said after sending an email Monday afternoon informing Nevada County officials he’d terminate his request for the recount. “(Clerk-Recorder Greg Diaz) set the price and the price is $82,000 and that’s just unreasonable.”
Nevada County’s certified vote shows Natalie Adona winning the clerk-recorder race with 22,800 votes, or 67.9%. Jason Tedder received 7,843 votes, or 23.3%. Paul Gilbert took 2,942 votes, 8.8%.
Economy has said he was seeking the recount on behalf of Tedder. Tedder couldn’t be reached for comment over multiple days.
In an email sent Monday afternoon to the county, Tedder said “I am writing you today to state that I am very much concerned about the integrity of this recount as it stands already.
“Rather than simply processing the request for recount, Greg Diaz deliberately leaked this story to the press and slandered the intent of a lawful action which has directly resulted in my being harassed by email and phone,” the email states. “As someone who endeavors to become an election official, I am concerned that this action may cause violence toward myself, my family, and ultimately discourage future qualified candidates from seeking to run for this office.”
Tedder added: “My team and I reserve the right to seek further relief in reconciling the growing quantity of irregularities surrounding the June 7th Clerk-Recorder race.”
Monday’s email wasn’t the first time Tedder had reached out to county officials.
In a June 2 email, Tedder asked county Human Resources Director Steve Rose a series of questions. They included whether an assistant department head for an elected office could be recruited and hired without a competitive hiring process, as well as whether an elected department head could employ their spouse “directly under his/her supervision.”
“No,” Rose responded, “our policy prohibits this.”
A strict deadline set by law meant the county had to receive the first payment by today. Supervisors would have then voted to appoint someone to oversee the recount. That person would have, in turn, appointed voters to perform the recount.
“We have to begin (today) by law,” County Counsel Kit Elliott said. “If he doesn’t pay, it doesn’t start. And if it doesn’t start, it’s done.”
Economy dismissed the argument that the margin of Adona’s victory made the recount unviable. He argued that to review the details of an election, the ballots must be examined.
“It’s about the chain of custody,” he said, “and we got an $82,000 bill.
“It’s not about the outcome of the election,” he added later. “It’s about the process.”
Contacted after Economy sent his notice, Adona said she thought the recount was a distraction. She made a point of focusing on preparing for the November general election and transitioning into Diaz’s seat when his term ends.
“Did it make me feel great to potentially have this thing go on for longer?” she asked. “Obviously not.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.