Voters can size up candidates at forum on Thursday

Mail ballot goes out in 2 weeks
2014-04-21T15:39:00Z 2014-04-23T12:02:36Z Voters can size up candidates at forum on ThursdayPETER JENSEN Napa Valley Register
April 21, 2014 3:39 pm  • 

Ballots for the June 3 primary will be in the mail for Napa County voters in just two weeks, with a bevy of local races to be decided in the election.

To help residents fill out their ballots, the Yountville Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a forum Thursday night with candidates for all local contested elections, as well as three of the five candidates for the 4th Assembly District race.

The forum will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Yountville Community Center’s Heritage Room, 6516 Washington St. The public is invited to attend and to submit questions to the chamber’s email address,

The forum will feature candidates running for sheriff/coroner, District 3 supervisor, district attorney, the 4th Assembly District, and assessor-recorder-clerk and registrar of voters.

Candidates will be asked the same three questions as their opponents, and they won’t know the questions before the forum, said Cindy Saucerman, president and CEO of the chamber.

Candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves, discuss their platforms, answer the three questions, and take additional audience questions if time permits, Saucerman said. Races with two candidates will be allotted 30 minutes, while contests with three candidates will get 45 minutes. She said topics will focus on Yountville as well as countywide issues.

Saucerman said she hopes to fill the Heritage Room to its 200-person capacity. She is working with Napa Valley TV and local radio stations to broadcast the forum, but as of Monday couldn’t confirm if that would happen. Napa Valley Register Editor Sean Scully will moderate the forum.

“We’ve got quite a bit of interest,” Saucerman said. “If you have any good questions send them our way.”

The contest for Napa County assessor-recorder-clerk and registrar of voters will be decided June 3, as will the race for the Upvalley 3rd Supervisor District seat and the race for Napa County sheriff/coroner.

The top two finishers in the race for the 4th Assembly District will go on to the November general election. Unless one of three candidates for Napa County district attorney receives a majority of the vote, the top two finishers in that race will also square off in November.

Ballots and sample ballot pamphlets for vote-by-mail voters will be sent out May 5 and should be arriving on or before May 10, Registrar of Voters John Tuteur said.

Residents still have an opportunity to register to vote, as the deadline isn’t until May 19, Tuteur said. They can request vote-by-mail ballots until May 27. Ballots have to arrive at the Elections Division by 8 p.m. June 3 to count. Polling place voters will cast ballots June 3.

For the Nov. 4 general election, residents have until Oct. 20 to register to vote. Oct. 28 is the last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot.

The Yountville forum will start with the assessor-recorder-clerk and registrar of voters race, which pits Tuteur against Napa Chamber of Commerce interim CEO Brian Kelly.

The next race will be for Napa County sheriff/coroner, featuring incumbent John Robertson and challenger Brian Banducci, the former undersheriff.

After that, the candidates for district attorney will speak. They are incumbent Gary Lieberstein; Tom Kensok, a Napa Valley Unified School District board member and attorney in the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office; and Doug Pharr, a criminal defense and civil attorney in Napa. The top two candidates will move on to the November runoff.

The 3rd District supervisor’s race will be up after that, featuring incumbent Diane Dillon and challenger Lewis Chilton, Yountville’s vice mayor.

The night will conclude with the 4th Assembly District race, including Democratic candidates Bill Dodd, a Napa County supervisor; Dan Wolk, mayor pro tem for the city of Davis; as well as Republican Charlie Schaupp, a Yolo County farmer and former Marine Corps Lt. Col.

Two other candidates in the race, Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza, a Democrat, and Dustin Call, a Republican legislative aide, will not attend, according to Saucerman. The top two vote-getters advance to the November runoff.

The race for the 5th Congressional District seat, held by U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, won’t be featured. Napa resident James Hinton and Contra Costa County resident Douglas Van Raam are challenging Thompson; both men are running as no-party preference.

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(15) Comments

  1. TruthPlease
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    TruthPlease - April 21, 2014 8:17 pm
    I smell a bias Napa Register?
  2. GiveTruthAChance
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    GiveTruthAChance - April 22, 2014 6:47 am
    Lets talk about Washington D.C. Send out a search party for the Republican Party. LOL. I want to hear from the Voice of Reason. James Hinton. I see him out on the streets like an old school politician. Like a young Kennedy.
  3. Sean Scully Staff
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    Sean Scully - April 22, 2014 7:14 am
    In what regard, TruthPlease?
  4. Old Time Napkin
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    Old Time Napkin - April 22, 2014 7:29 am
    Why just a photo of Diane Dillon? Why not a photo of her opponent also. In fact you would do well not to feature a photo of any candidate to be fair to all.
  5. GiveTruthAChance
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    GiveTruthAChance - April 22, 2014 7:32 am
    The lack of U.S. House of Reps. District-5 primary. Congress plays a big role in our government. Lets talk about the candidates issues instead of how deep their pockets are.
  6. Sean Scully Staff
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    Sean Scully - April 22, 2014 7:33 am
    You may portray it in any manner that pleases you, Robert, as long as our copyrighted material is clearly credited and labeled as such.
  7. Sean Scully Staff
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    Sean Scully - April 22, 2014 7:55 am
    There are photos of every candidate, Old Time. They are arranged in a gallery - Diane's photo just happens to come up first for perfectly innocent technical reasons. The photos are arranged in a gallery so you may spend your day blissfully gazing at whichever candidates you wish.
  8. Sean Scully Staff
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    Sean Scully - April 22, 2014 7:56 am
    So your position is that by not including every race in every candidates forum, the organizers are displaying a bias? Should the Yountville Chamber have invited the gubernatorial candidates as well?
  9. glenroy
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    glenroy - April 22, 2014 8:11 am
    I don’t read a bias…but it would be nice if the NVR went back to the day when they did a little investigative reporting, budget it.
    So much has changed for the worse over the last 25 years, none worse than local government rising above the law creating non-exist codes to try to fine businesses…the politically savvy know it coincides with the rise of the SEIU and the other radical controlled public employee unions. That is not to say all public employees buy into the jingo, not by a long shot, there are many moderate/conservative who are forced to give their hard earned wages to these self-serving destructive unions.
    Since were on politics….be nice to take a closer look at AMR the 'less than' Piner’s tract record…maybe follow, or backtrack, the money that ruined a company that served 60 years without once being sued…replace by the most sued provider in the nation. A lot of short cuts being ignored....if nothing else if the candidate reads this maybe they'll think ..
  10. Non-native
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    Non-native - April 22, 2014 8:50 am
    Old Time Napkin never seems to be blissful!
  11. Old Time Napkin
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    Old Time Napkin - April 22, 2014 10:30 am
    Really, thank you for your diagnosis.
  12. GiveTruthAChance
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    GiveTruthAChance - April 22, 2014 11:03 am
    Sean what do you think about fracking, the Keystone pipeline, and climate change? what do our candidates have to say? This is important. Lets talk to the Congressional Candidates about the issues, instead of how financial backing they have.
  13. rocketman
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    rocketman - April 22, 2014 11:18 am
    I always get a chuckle out of candidates that use dated photos..............
  14. Non-native
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    Non-native - April 22, 2014 11:57 am
  15. TruthPlease
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    TruthPlease - April 22, 2014 7:24 pm
    Except the gallery doesn't work so well on the App.

    Sorry, I don't buy into the innocence of the press and "any perceived bias is either unintentional or accidental".

    Dillion's picture is prominent for a reason. Just admit it! Heck, I think that Supervisor Dillion is a fine candidate, she has done a decent job on some issues....
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