Placer Supervisor race: Montgomery defeats Kranz | SierraSun.com

Placer Supervisor race: Montgomery defeats Kranz

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

Jennifer Montgomery

Jennifer Montgomery unseated Placer County Fifth District Supervisor Bruce Kranz in commanding fashion Tuesday evening, capping a grassroots campaign that tapped into local residents’ appetite for change.

In front of a cluster of supporters wedged between a pool table and a glowing TV, Jennifer Montgomery wiped tears from her eyes and thanked supporters at Donner Summit Lodge Tuesday night.

The lodge ” campaign central for Montgomery ” filled with chants of “Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer” and “Hip, hip, hooray” as election results popped up on a laptop computer. A tearful woman jumped in place waving a Montgomery campaign sign as Rob Haswell, Montgomery’s campaign manager announced, “Ladies and gentlemen I want to introduce your new supervisor.”

The fervor illustrated the emotional investment many of the supporters had made in a campaign that even Montgomery supporters thought was a long shot when it began months ago.

“This is all about you guys,” said Montgomery. “This race was all about giving voice to the community. Tonight I want to ask all of you to hold me to my promises; hold me to my pledge.”

Kranz called Montgomery to concede the race, he said Tuesday evening.

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“I think I’ve done the best I could for the community,” said Kranz. “I think generically

there is an anti-incumbency mood.”

Kranz, sounding exhausted and disappointed, said he’s glad to be done with the campaign.

“I’m tired of being called every dirty name in the book,” said Kranz. “I’m happy that I don’t have to be Satan anymore.”

Rex Bloomfield, the former Placer County Fifth District Supervisor who was unseated by Kranz in 2004, drove from his Meadow Vista home to Donner Summit Lodge to support Montgomery.

“We had someone who wouldn’t listen to the people, who ignored the people to push his own political agenda,” said Bloomfield of Kranz.

“This is a great win for District 5. It will bring some sanity back to the district,” he said.

Joe Iser, a Montgomery supporter, said there were simple reasons why Jennifer Montgomery got his vote.

“I know her. I trust her,” said Iser, “and she represents the best of what I think [Donner] Summit has to offer.”

Sue Busby said the potential development of Royal Gorge was the issue that got her behind Montgomery.

“We’re a small community and there’s no way we could have a development like this,” said Busby.

But the supervisor candidate’s character was what truly impressed her.

“She has a great message and she’s an honest person,” said Busby.

Montgomery and Kranz secured a spot on the November ballot by beating out challenger Bob Houston in the June primary.

Montgomery captured just more than 40 percent of the vote and Kranz took 38 percent in the election which featured very low voter turnout. Houston, a lobbyist, collected only 22 percent of the vote and endorsed Jennifer Montgomery after losing.

Jennifer Montgomery said she has a few things at the top of her list of things to do on her first few days as supervisor. One of the first things will be to sit down with Placer County’s Chief Financial Officer and talk about the county budget situation.

“Everything flows from that,” said Montgomery.

The other thing she plans is to assure that development works for local communities.

“I’ll guarantee that we don’t just approve development for the sake of the money,” she said.

As of the end of September nearly $400,000 had been pumped into the supervisor candidates’ campaigns ” Kranz collecting $231,501 and Montgomery coming in at $166,090.

Vote breakdown

Jennifer Montgomery “-54.49 percent

Bruce Kranz ” 45.3 percent

Total reporting (as of 11 p.m.): 88.4