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Duran, Rockholm confident as election draws closer

By: Brad Smith -- The Press Tribune
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Within a few weeks Roseville residents will be casting votes in the District 1 supervisor race between incumbent F.C. “Rocky” Rockholm and challenger Jack Duran. How do the candidates feel at this point? Rockholm’s media relations manager Kent Pollock said their campaign was going well. At press time, Rockholm was out of state and unavailable for comment but released a statement via e-mail. “I’ve talked with a lot of voters at this point and I’m feeling cautiously optimistic. As a former shop steward himself, my opponent is good at attracting thousands of dollars from unions, but I don’t think that will translate into votes,” Rockhol wrote. “I put my trust in the voters to see through the half-truths and distorted facts my opponent has been spreading.” Duran said he has been meeting with a lot of people in the district and listening to what they have to say. “People are ready for a change,” he said. “They want a more transparent government and a more responsible government. I want to give them that.” He feels that the campaign is going well. “I feel good about this race,” he said. “I’m confident that on June 9 I’ll be this district’s next supervisor and I want to work with everyone to improve the quality of life and give people the type of responsible government they deserve.” According to his website, Rockholm has lived and worked in the Roseville area for more than 30 years. For 15 years he was an officer with the Roseville Police Department. Aside from the serving on the county’s board of supervisors, Rockholm has served as Roseville’s mayor and city planning commissioner. His supporters include Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner, the Roseville Firefighters Association, Mayor Gina Garbolina of Roseville, Roseville Planning Commissioner Sam Cannon and the Placer County Republican Party. Duran, on his website, is described as a “self-made man” who moved to Roseville and attended Sierra College and worked as a UPS driver. In time he served as a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice and later went into private practice. He has also served as a judge and mentoring attorney for the Placer Peer Court, been a member of both the Roseville and Rocklin Chamber of Commerce. His supporters include Wally Reemelin of the League of Placer County Taxpayers, the Roseville Police Officers Association, the Placer County Deputy Sheriff's Association and incoming Roseville mayor Pauline Roccucci. Unlike other races voted on in this primary election, the District 1 race is the kingmaker. “This is where the decision is made,” said Ryan Ronco, Placer County’s assistant recorder and registrar. If the District 1 race had more than two candidates then the race would not be decided until November, Ronco said. “It’s just two candidates and state law says in a situation like this, there’s no need for a November run-off,” he said. “Whoever wins the election gets the seat.” Ronco said that winner needs to get 50 percent plus one of the registered voters to win. “That’s the determining factor,’ he said. “Not only in this race but all races. And, overall, it’s going to be interesting to see the June 8 voter turnout.” Placer County residents take their voting seriously, Ronco said. “More than 80 percent of the county’s eligible voters are registered,” he said. “As for voter turnout, it’s very good. We have 60 to 65 percent of registered voters vote during an election.” Mail-in votes are very popular in the county, Ronco said. “Right now 56 percent of registered voters vote by mail,” he said. “The number of mail-in voters has increased over the last three elections.” Mail-in votes started coming in on May 10, Ronco said. The last day to request a mail-in voter form is June 1. “It only takes a few minutes to verify a mail-in vote,” Ronco said. “We have to check the envelope to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with and the signature on it matches the voter’s signature card.” The whole process only takes a few minutes, he said. He said that people can go to the Placer County Clerk’s website and not only register for voting by mail – they can check on the status of their votes. “All vote-by-mail envelopes are laser-scanned in the system,” Ronco said. “If there’s a problem we’ll contact the voter.” On election day, area hospitals are checked to see if absentee voters are present, he said. “If they are then we send out forms to them so they can vote,” Ronco said. “Not many counties do something like this. I think it’s a good service we offer to the people.” In the event there’s a tie, Ronco said two things could happen. “One, a special election can be ordered by the board of supervisors,” he said. “But usually it’s decided by drawing lots. Yes, we still do that.” Recounts have been done in the past, he said. “But there haven’t been a lot of them,” Ronco said. “We do have protocols in place should one be requested. But there has to be a legitimate reason to do one.” Brad Smith can be reached at brads@goldcountrymedia.com.