On Wednesday, the Assembly Race dynamics changed in a dramatic way as the two largest counties – Napa and Yolo Counties – completed the bulk of their uncounted ballots.
The results were dramatic as Bill Dodd initially surged to a huge lead when the Napa votes came in, and that lead remained after Yolo County came in (where Bill Dodd performed poorly compared to Dan Wolk and Charlie Schaupp).
At the end of the day, Bill Dodd was in first place by 669 votes over Charlie Schaupp, and Dan Wolk trailed Mr. Schaupp for second place by 1126 votes.
Matt Reilly from the Dodd campaign first sent out an email at 3:40 pm indicating that Napa County had released their tally of 9505 ballots which showed “an additional 4187 votes for Bill Dodd compared with 2279 for Charlie Schaupp and 1677 for Dan Wolk.”
Mr. Reilly wrote, “This effectively gives Dodd a lead of 3010 votes over Wolk and 1419 ahead of Schaupp. Napa Registrar John Tuteur estimates another 1,000 ballots remain in Napa to count. Officials in Yolo, Sonoma, and Lake still have several thousand AD 4 [Assembly District 4] ballots to count, but the ratios between the candidates to this point indicate that Schaupp will finish 2nd and Wolk 3rd.”
An hour later he wrote, “Shortly after I sent off the prior email Yolo released its update…it reinforces exactly what I sent you earlier. Yolo counted 5158 ballots in AD 4 (the remainder of their 5828 they said were in their possession were outside AD 4). This was Wolk’s only hope to stay in the race.”
He adds, “That leaves Schaupp and Wolk with only about 100 provisional Solano ballots and 1078 provisional Yolo ballots in counties where they bested Dodd (Schaupp also leads Dodd by 3.9% in Lake County, but there are only 5263 ballots).”
Dan Wolk texted the Vanguard late on Wednesday that his campaign had no comment at this time.
The Vanguard’s analysis this week suggested Charlie Schaupp would finish first and Bill Dodd a close second with Dan Wolk about 1000 ballots off. The Dodd campaign now believes that Bill Dodd will prevail and finish first.
We know that Colusa County has completed its count. We are still waiting on about 6053 ballots in Lake County where Charlie Schaupp finished first with 28.3 percent of the vote, Bill Dodd finished second with 24.4 percent of the vote and Dan Wolk third with 23.1 percent of the vote.
Solano County completed its regular count but still has 1140 provisional ballots remaining. We are also waiting on between 4000 and 5000 ballots in Sonoma County (which is an estimate) where Bill Dodd finished first with 26% following by Charlie Schaupp (25 percent) and Dan Wolk who finished fourth with 21.8 percent.
Based on these numbers, and where the remaining ballots are, Dan Wolk will be unlikely to catch Charlie Schaupp.
California League of Conservation Voters Regrets IE Campaign in Fourth Assembly District
In the meantime, the California League of Conservation Voters told the Contra Costa Times that they regretted supporting Joe Krovoza over Dan Wolk.
“The California League of Conservation Voters, the political muscle of environmental groups in the state, this spring waged an independent-expenditure campaign in just one race, an overwhelmingly Democratic Assembly district that runs from the liberal Napa Valley to the even more liberal university town of Davis,” the paper reported.
They spent $50,000 “to promote one Democrat who it felt had a slightly more established environmental record than one of the others. The CLCV-backed candidate finished fourth, but drew enough votes to knock out the other candidate who environmentalists liked a little bit less.”
The paper notes, “The result, barring a dramatic turnaround in the late vote-counting, will be a race in the fall between two pro-business candidates who both oppose key policies supported by environmentalists. Either way, environmentalists will lose.”
David Allgood, political director of the League of Conservation Voters, told the paper that “his group made a miscalculation. He acknowledged that the group, relying on no polling data, backed the weakest of the major candidates.”
“It blew up in our face,” he said. “In 20/20 hindsight, maybe we would do it differently.'”
—David M. Greenwald reporting