For most of the night, incumbent District Attorney Jeff Reisig appeared to be comfortably ahead of his surprisingly robust challenger. It was 59-40 after the early absentees were counted, but as the votes rolled in from Davis that gap closed.
By the time the precincts were in, the incumbent was still ahead, but it was a relatively narrow 54-46 lead, with just 2037 votes separated the two.
This one might not be over. We heard all day that voters in Davis had held their absentees and turned them in on Election Day. It may be that 2037 votes might be and probably are too much to overcome – but in a race that has defied conventional rules, who knows.
Dean Johansson announced late and entered the race short on money and experience as a politician, and faced an incumbent who had been first elected in 2006 and faced no opposition in 2010 or 2014.
While the money poured into Sacramento County backing Noah Phillips against incumbent Anne Marie Schubert, the incumbent declared victory early and led 64-36 as all precincts were reporting. Meanwhile, in Yolo County at last count, Mr. Johansson had raised around $70,000.
As Campaign Manager Natalie Wormeli told the Vanguard a few days ago, “Our great resource (was) all of our volunteers. We have over 500 volunteers, 75 people canvassing.”
She added, “The cool thing is it’s been very natural getting more volunteers. When people hear a message they join us. The campaign is built upon itself.
“Dean is always referring to it as the people’s campaign and that’s what it’s truly turned out to be,” she said.
In an article Monday in the Huffington Post they noted, “Reisig, who has not faced an opponent since first running for the office more than a decade ago, has enacted some reforms while in office, notably a community court that aims to help keep low-level offenders out of the criminal justice system and has been called “progressive enough” by the Sacramento Bee editorial board.”
But the article points out: “Reisig has been criticized for not doing enough to reduce the racial disparities of charges and incarceration in Yolo County.”
Mr. Johansson, running on a broad reform platform, “has won the endorsement of the local Democratic Party, has pledged to support diversion programs for youth offenders to help keep them out of the criminal justice system, end practices that criminalize poverty, mental illness and substance abuse, and stop seeking the death penalty in the county’s cases. “
The Vanguard will have more on this race and reactions from Mr. Johansson and the campaign as it becomes available.
—David M. Greenwald reporting