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Election Day 2014

Three Napa County Board of Supervisors seats are on the March 3 ballot but the only race might be between incumbent Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza and challenger Amber Manfree.

Incumbent Supervisors Ryan Gregory and Belia Ramos are also up for re-election. As of Thursday morning, they had no challengers.

Things could change by the filing deadline of 5 p.m. Friday Dec. 6, but potential challengers would have to work quickly. That’s the deadline to pull papers, collect at least 20 signatures from registered voters in the supervisor district, pay a $1,006.94 fee and file papers.

Pedroza and Manfree as of Thursday morning had taken out papers for the 4th District supervisor seat. Both have declared their candidacies.

Manfree is a fifth-generation Napa County resident. She has a doctorate in geography from the University of California, Davis and wrote her dissertation on 200 years of landscape change in Suisun Marsh in neighboring Solano County.

“Science is a great starting place for discussion and decision-making,” Manfree said in a press release. “Once the pieces of a system are understood, people can focus on negotiating fair solutions. People don’t necessarily need to agree about politics to do this.”

Among the controversial issues facing Napa County in recent months is how to protect watersheds, forests and woodlands. Manfree did a study that estimated the new laws unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors increase tree protection by about 2 percent.

Another controversial issue is allowing new wineries in remote locations. Manfree in 2017 raised water quality concerns about the proposed Mountain Peak Winery toward the end of Soda Canyon Road, a winery the county approved.

“Inclusion and social equity are woven into my family’s experience, and continue to be a driving force in my life,” she said in a press release. “I want to hear as many voices as possible, because that’s how we know if things are working.”

Napa Vision 2050 in an email newsletter called Manfree “an inspiring new candidate.”

Pedroza was appointed to the Board of Supervisors in 2014 by Gov. Jerry Brown to fill a vacancy. He won election in 2016 over Diane Shepp and Chris Malan. He has raised more than $200,000 for the upcoming campaign, records show.

Since he’s been supervisor, he’s advocated for more transportation resources and more affordable housing opportunities, Pedroza said. He worked to have the city of Napa and the county team up on a watershed study and to create a climate change committee with the county and its cities.

Those quality-of-life issues will likely be a huge aspect of the 4th District race, Pedroza said this week.

“That’s what I’ve been working for, to make sure our residents benefit in the successes we’ve had in the community,” he said.

Pedroza was elected vice chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in February. He attributed the accomplishment in part to the relationships he’s built with other Bay Area transportation commissioners.

As of Thursday morning, 5th District incumbent Ramos had filed to run for re-election and nobody else had taken out papers. The supervisor district includes American Canyon, the southeast city of Napa and parts of rural Coombsville.

Second District incumbent Gregory had taken out papers and has said he will run for re-election. Nobody else had taken out papers. The district includes the western part of the city of Napa and rural Mount Veeder area.

Also on the ballot is the county treasurer-tax collector. As of Thursday morning, former county Planning Commissioner Michael Basayne and county Assistant Auditor-Controller Bob Minahen had filed to run. Tony Singer had taken out papers.

Because incumbent Treasurer-Tax Collector James Hudak is not running, the deadline to file is extended to Dec. 11.

Five Napa County Superior Court judge seats are on the ballot, with only Judge Monique Langhorne as of Thursday morning facing a possible opponent. Clifford Blackman had taken out papers to run against her.

Registrar of Voters John Tuteur said he expects about 80,000 vote-by-mail ballots to go out the week of Feb. 4. The downtown Napa elections office will be a vote center starting Feb. 4. A center at the Holiday Inn Express in American Canyon will open on Feb. 22 and other centers on Feb. 29.

Voters can drop off ballots and get information at vote centers. The county will also have ballot drop boxes at various locations. Voters can also use the mail to return ballots.

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You can reach Barry Eberling at 256-2253 or beberling@napanews.com.

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Napa County Reporter

Barry Eberling covers Napa County government, transportation, the environment and general assignments. He has worked for the Napa Valley Register since fall 2014 and previously worked 27 years for the Daily Republic of Fairfield.