Schaupp and Dodd in Virtual First Place Tie in Assembly Race

Dan Wolk waiting for results at his party at Tres Hermanas Restaurant in Davis
Dan Wolk waiting for results at his party at Tres Hermanas Restaurant in Davis

Krovoza Is Out; Wolk Is More Than 600 Votes Out Of Second

When Abel Maldonado recommended the blanket primary as a means to get more moderate candidates elected, the results in the 4th Assembly District last night – should they hold through the counting of absentees – are likely what he had in mind.

At this hour, the Wolk Campaign is assessing their position, but as of right now, the two Davis candidates are on the outside looking in.

District-wide, it is literally neck and neck, and for a time last night, Republican Charlie Schaupp and Democrat Bill Dodd were tied for first. At the close of counting at 3 am, Charlie Schaupp had exactly one more vote than Bill Dodd. But their split is immaterial as the top two face off in November, regardless of vote total.


More importantly Dan Wolk finds himself 628 votes behind Bill Dodd, a margin of 1.1%. The margin closed as the night went on, but Mr. Wolk was never able to surpass the top two vote-getters.

Joe Krovoza, who often seemed out-manned and out-gunned despite raising a healthy amount of money, finished a distant fourth overall, just under 4000 votes behind Dan Wolk.

The Dan Wolk campaign and supporters will be quick to point the finger at Joe Krovoza for even running in this race. They will say that effectively split the vote in their stronghold. In Yolo County, Dan Wolk ran first by nearly 1000 votes over second place Joe Krovoza.


Bill Dodd would finish a distant fourth in Yolo County overall.

It was in Davis that was the most interesting. The Davis map shows Joe Krovoza capturing many of the progressive strongholds, with Dan Wolk winning only some of the more traditionally conservative areas of the city.

Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd told the Vanguard, “I’m encouraged and I’m hopeful that the results stay where they are. I look forward to debate hopefully on the issues in November.”

Mr. Dodd said he was surprised by the level of Independent Activities in this race. At last check, the Opportunity PAC had pumped in about half a million dollars, both in support of Dan Wolk and in opposition to Bill Dodd. The FairPAC put in similar amounts in reverse.

“I could not believe the number that was thrown at me by the labor unions,” he said. “I still can’t figure out if it’s a pro-Wolk contribution or an anti-me.” He pointed out that he has done 17 labor negotiations with SEIU over 14 years without a single impasse.  He said that they have had fantastic collective bargaining with local unions, which has been “very positive.”

Bill Dodd felt that played a huge role in the outcome. However, he added, “Fortunately in the end, people were more concerned about a new direction in Sacramento than they were these ugly politics.”

Joe Krovoza and wife Janet attend their party in South Davis on Tuesday night.
Joe Krovoza and wife Janet attend their party in South Davis on Tuesday night.

Joe Krovoza issued a statement to the Vanguard: “This campaign has been an incredibly rewarding experience from beginning to end.  We advanced important conversations about the issues that matter most to communities across the district, informed by my service as mayor and career at UC Davis.  I am humbled by the amazingly broad support we received throughout the district and the grassroots network that carried the campaign for well over a year.  The legacy of our campaign’s values will guide me and others for years to come.”

Will Arnold from the Dan Wolk campaign told the Vanguard that he doesn’t believe the race is over, that “there are still a lot votes left to be counted.  We remain optimistic.”

“All the trends are in our favor,” he added.

One report puts the number of uncounted ballots in Yolo County at 7000.  The key question is how many are in the rest of the district. Dan Wolk really only has the advantage in Yolo County, and Napa County is just as huge an advantage for Bill Dodd as Yolo County is for Dan Wolk.   Time only will tell.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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43 thoughts on “Schaupp and Dodd in Virtual First Place Tie in Assembly Race”

  1. South of Davis

    It looks like the Democrats that got Dustin Call to run so he would take votes away from Schaupp should have given him a little more money since just 1,000 more GOP votes would have kept Schaupp off the ballot in November. With the new “top two” system I think we will see a lot more fake candidates like Call (from BOTH the Dems and GOP) as it is an easy way to split the votes of your competition.

    P.S. The party switch was a smart move by Dodd and I expect to see more Republicans in CA change parties to get the votes of the (increasing number of) people that just check the box next to a guy with a “D” next to their name.

    1. Alan Miller

      ” . . . people that just check the box next to a guy with a “D” next to their name.” — I believe those are known as “stupid people”.

  2. David Greenwald Post author

    Just talked to Napa County, between 5000 and 10,000 ballots remain to be counted. Based on that, not sure this race is going to change.

  3. Good Government

    “Time will only tell.” One thing time will tell is whether the Krovoza supporters will ever admit the hard truth, which I and others had been saying, and which is now proven true by the numbers: That Krovoza never stood a chance in this race, he never won significant support outside of Davis, and his presence in this race was only as a spoiler. We now potentially have two people who were Republicans as of 2013 running in November. That is on Krovoza. That is his legacy.

    1. Barack Palin

      “We now potentially have two people who were Republicans as of 2013 running in November.”

      And that is so refreshing………………

    2. Davis Progressive

      sounds like sour grapes to me. krovoza raised $300,000, beat dan on their home turf, and was competitive in yolo county. neither did well outside of yolo, wolk had a stronger base of support. wolk has only himself to blame.

      a lot of people who voted for krovoza, would have voted for dodd, because we didn’t think dan had earned being assemblyman yet.

      1. Good Government

        Actually, Anthony Farrington announced first, but that is besides the point. The story I heard is that Joe told Dan he would not run and would support him, then went back on his word, and tried to pre-empt Dan by announcing first.

    3. chriszlee

      Krovoza’s legacy will be leadership, running a legitimate grassroots no-negative campaign, and being a great guy. Nothing is “on him” for wanting to run for an office where he thought he could better the district and California.

      In fact, why is it Joe’s legacy? Why isn’t it the voters’ legacy for not turning out to vote differently? Or your legacy for not talking to more friends about getting out and voting to prevent this situation?

      1. Davis Progressive

        how about joe’s legacy is leading the city to move forward towards fiscal sustainability and refusing to take money from special interests that got the city into its hole in the first place.

  4. Good Government

    I guess that answers my question. No, Krovoza sycophants in Davis will never realize that Joe didn’t have what it takes to win. Never did. Now we have numerical evidence. My favorite quote is that Joe “was competitive in Yolo County”. Dan beat him handily everywhere outside of Davis. You’re proving my point! Joe was the unicycle riding, no growth loony Davis candidate and Davis voters loved it. No one else wants that and that’s why he didn’t get higher than third anywhere else.

    1. chriszlee

      You keep bringing up the same thing over and over again. Why is it a problem that Joe ran? Why is it a problem that despite overwhelming odds, he thought he could win? Isn’t that what we look for, competitive elections with different choices? Isn’t the “underdog” something we kind of value as a society, especially in America?

      If at all referring to me, I take offense to being called a sycophant. If I thought Dan was the better candidate, I would have supported him. But guess what, I didn’t and still don’t. I still support Joe regardless of his office or position because I believe he is truly a good person trying to make not just Davis, but the rest of California a better place.

      From what it sounds like, you wanted Joe to drop out of the race so Dan could make it past the primary. I’m sorry, but no, that’s politics as usual. I hate to say it, but I’m happy with the results, maybe now voters will realize the importance of getting out and voting, and not just voting but voting based on information not just on partisanship.

      Boohoo, Dan didn’t win. Boohoo, we are stuck with Dodd and Schaupp. Guess what: the voters — and nonvoters for that matter — should have to sleep in the bed they have made.

    2. Davis Progressive

      maybe the problem was that dan wasn’t a good enough candidate, didn’t have a record to run on, and had only his mother’s good name as an asset?

  5. EastDavid

    Why try to blame Joe? Or Dan? How about the real problem: the top two primary where two people with under 26% of the vote each in an election with about 30% turnout are the only ones who can go forward! I would contend that if Joe had gotten the Dem. endorsement, he could have been third. I also feel that the second choice of both Joe’s and Dan’s supporters would be the other Davis candidate. I’d like to replace this top two with and IRV system.

  6. Mark West

    The older I get, the less interested I am in party affiliation. I try to vote for candidates with a track record of working with others to find solutions to the community’s problems rather than those with a fixed ‘agenda’ and a willingness to toe the party line. I suspect we would have better results if we dropped party affiliation from the ballot altogether and focused instead on accomplishments.

  7. noname

    Wolk couldn’t even win his own base and yet I’m supposed to feel guilty about not voting for him? Please. Dan needs to look at that pretty pink and red map David posted and figure out why so many Davis voters chose someone else. And maybe he should focus on finishing his term on the City Council. Sadly, I fear he’s more interested in laying the groundwork for running for mom’s seat in two years.

    1. Barack Palin

      Quite possibly, well hopefully at least, voters are finally getting smarter and aren’t going to support candidates like Dan Wolk who are firmly in the public union’s corner.

  8. Frankly

    I think a big reason that both Dan and Joe lost is their association to that weirdly behaving city they live in and serve in. Davis is more and more thought of outside itself as out-of-touch with the rest of the region. And if your political brand is determined to be strong Davis, then other voters in the region are more likely to give you a thumbs down.

    And with these other cities in the region growing their voter population while Davis stagnates, it becomes more difficult for Davis CC members to launch a larger political career from Davis. Maybe that is a good thing.

    1. Don Shor

      Except that if you add their totals together, the Davis candidates bested the field. A fact that I’m sure associates of both candidates are bickering about.

  9. Frankly

    Except that if you add their totals together, the Davis candidates bested the field.

    So you are thinking that one Davis candidate could have won this thing?

      1. Robert Canning

        As David points out above, that would appear to be doubtful given the number of ballots left to count and their geographical proportion. There’s probably no good reason to suggest that the ballots left to count in Napa and Lake are going to all of a sudden show a shift to the third place finisher – even if the Yolo ballots went heavily for Dan Wolk.

    1. Robert Canning

      Not sure where Good Government gets his/her election results. The Sec. of State results page notes that the final results (partial) from Sonoma County (mostly Rohnert Park and Boyes Hot Springs) gives Dodd 1st, Schaupp 2nd, Krovoza 3rd, Wolk 4th, and Call 5th. Not exactly evidence that Krovoza can’t win outside Davis. One theory (among many) about Dan’s loss of Davis could be that as some precinct walkers in the council campaign can attest to, is that Davis voters were not appreciative of someone who is not completing his term on the council.

  10. wdf1

    R.C.: Davis voters were not appreciative of someone who is not completing his term on the council.

    That’s a valid criticism. Someone who leaves in the middle of the term potentially creates a situation where extra public resources (at least time) are drawn away from the usual business of governance and spent on choosing a successor. Most recently the resignation of Nancy Peterson from the school board meant that a number of potential agenda items were further postponed in order to choose her successor. And then when a successor is chosen, a certain number of citizens aren’t happy with it because that person wasn’t democratically elected.

    1. SODA

      “That’s a valid criticism. Someone who leaves in the middle of the term potentially creates a situation where extra public resources (at least time) are drawn away from the usual business of governance a”

      MIDDLE??? How about a few short months!
      I wish Good Govt would stop with the Joe bashing. Joe ran a wonderful upbeat campaign, took no PAC money, nor would I am sure. Let’s put it to bed and stop the in Davis fighting. It is small.

  11. Tia Will

    ” Krovoza sycophants”

    Good governments choice of words says much about the validity of the actual points being made. I think that this attitude will serve Dan Wolk very poorly in the future if he chooses to internalize this attitude. The supports of Joe
    ( of whom I was one) were no more blindly devoted to their candidate than were the supporters of Dan or likely any other candidate.

    What was important to those of us with whom I spoke :
    1. An issues rather than slogan based campaign. Joe had a record of fairly considering the issues that came before him and not favoring any particular group.
    2. His campaign was based on the actions of many people who believed in the causes that he has stood for in the past as well as those who appreciated his attitude of non preferential problem solving while on the city council.
    3. There were a number of us who appreciated his years of work in the environmental field, not just his voicing his
    4. There were those who appreciated his efforts to move the city towards more fiscal responsibility.
    5. Finally, there was a universal feeling in Joe’s campaign that this was a race that would be won, or not, based solely on his positive achievements and dedication to the issues.

    I think Dan has the possibility for a very fulfilling career in politics. Some take home lessons here I believe should be :

    1) First, do the job you have said that you will do. I would have said the same of Joe had he intended to continue
    on the council if he had not been at the end of his term, just as I did of Saylor.
    2) Use your current position to gain some real accomplishments that can be genuinely appreciated in your next bid for higher office.
    3) Learn from the politicians around you. The strong points of your adversaries are probably more important to study than those of your close political associates.
    4) Broaden your perspective. Statements of your devotion to the future by emphasizing your own family are fine for fluff bits which we all love. They will not serve as the core of a campaign even if you are attempting to use them to forward such issues as education and women’s rights.
    5) To reiterate. Do your job. Show us all that you can learn from past mistakes, focus on the issues, represent all the groups of our city fairly and not biased by any one particular group, and I believe you would have the support of many who supported Joe this time around.

    An attitude which is disparaging or dismissive of others and their ideas , even if expressed in support of a political competitor is, in my opinion, a losing strategy and I would urge seeking the message, not the temporary emotional satisfaction of blaming.

  12. Good Government

    You’re right. I shouldn’t have used the word “sycophants”. Something like “true believers” would have done the trick sans the vitriol.

    That said, I stand by my original point. Dan kicked Joe’s butt in this race. He did so by running a stronger district-wide campaign. A lot of people were saying Dan was stronger throughout the district and always had a better shot than Joe. Last night proved that to be true. Should the underdog always now out for the sake of ideology or party unity? No. But in this case we will likely have a representative in this district far more conservative than Dan and Joe, who is not nearly as strong on environmental issues as Dan or Joe. Dan is still close to winning despite Joe. Joe is nowhere near the top two. Guess all you want as to what would have or should have happened. But that is what happened. Joe wasn’t close to winning.

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      “Something like “true believers” would have done the trick sans the vitriol.”

      The artful term is “fellow travelers.”

    2. Don Shor

      I shouldn’t have used the word “sycophants”. Something like “true believers” would have done the trick sans the vitriol.

      “Supporters” is the usual term.

      1. Good Government

        I love a good semantics debate! I was describing a smaller subset of “supporters”, which I describe as anyone who voted for Joe, or even those who had a tough choice between him and Dan because they know them both and believe them both to be good, progressive Democrats, which they certainly both are.

        The supporters I am describing are a subset that, despite the election results, think the fact “Joe won Davis” is a valid argument against my point. Of course he won Davis! He was the Davis-centric candidate. His ballot statement said the word “Davis” like seven times! But he didn’t win another city or any county. He got last place in two neighboring counties behind a kid who didn’t even campaign! Only a “true believer” would not see that and think, “Gee, Joe really wasn’t close to winning. Dan was, and is, very close. Maybe all those people saying Joe didn’t have a chance were right.”

        1. Robert Canning

          Good Government: For one, Joe won in Sonoma County – check the results – that includes Rohnert Park.

          Second point which is (and I paraphrase) “so what he won Davis.” I guess I think it is curious that a candidate whose base is Yolo County, who launches his political career in Davis, whose literature touts his roots here and what he has given back, cannot carry the town – despite the endorsement of the entire political establishment in Davis. If Dan does well in Davis, he may come in second in the district. In fact, he’s got to carry Davis to counter the rural Republican vote in Yolo, Dodd’s strength in Napa County and Lake County, and do decently in Sonoma (where he came in third). Dan won in Woodland by a 1,000 votes and picked up a decent numbers of votes elsewhere. He had strong backing from the Democratic Party and it’s independent allies. They mailed, and mailed, and mailed. He had a field campaign that competed throughout the district.

          Overall, having three named Democrats in the race made it hard to counter the registration numbers. It’s a 60/40 Dem/Rep district and with one Republican picking up all (or most) of the Republican voters, it was a hard race for one of the two Dems from Yolo County to pick up enough to come in second. My hunch is that Dodd’s people knew this from the start.

          As a commenter said above somewhere, if there was only one Yolo Democrat in the race he could have been second. I think it was a tall order given Dodd’s appeal to both Dems (nominally) and Republicans (who have known him for many years). I’m sorry Dan decided that now was the right time to run. We’ll see what the future holds for him in Davis and beyond. Joe ran a good campaign without the full backing of the Democratic establishment and maybe that six percentage point difference between Dan and Joe is what the party endorsements and resources gets you in AD4. We’ll see what the party does for Bill Dodd. Given the registration split and his war chest, they may not have to do much to make sure the district stays in Democratic hands.

          1. Robert Canning

            Correction: Where I say “won in Sonoma County” I should have said “came in third in Sonoma County” – my mistake.

  13. Charlie_Schaupp

    I have been reading your comments…agree with most. One thing most of you are missing is 30 days (about) before the election I got ‘word’ that the Pro-GOP PACs were coming into this race to support Dodd to keep Wolk out of the general election. I was told that it was a Wolk/Dodd race, base on their polling, in the Primary and ‘forces’ within Sacramento wanted to influence the outcome of who would get the seat in the fall. None of this meddling is Joe Krovoza’s fault and, over the course of the primary campaign, I came to highly respect Joe as a ‘stand up guy’ who was honest and straightforward. In fact, had it been a Krovoza/Dodd race or Korvoza/Wolk race in the fall I would have thrown my support to Joe. Yes, our politics are different, but I admired his fiscal positions, knowledge of issues, and honestly. Be that as it may, I hope you all start to realize that is was meddling by pro-GOP PAC’s that jumped in to support Dodd that caused the outcome of this race and frankly I was not pleased when I heard about it…Rexroad informed me about the situation and told me he also was going to endorse Dodd—and I was ‘not pleased’ about the meddling (putting it mildly). Look at it his way….as I type this….about $2 Million was spent on the Democrats…With a current 500 vote difference between Dodd and Wolk…That is about $4,000 a vote to control who gets into the fall election. Thoughts?

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