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Incumbents Montgomery, Holmes, Uhler leading in Placer supes races

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - All three of Placer County?s standing supervisors up for election were on their way to victory Tuesday night, early vote totals indicated. Election returns posted by 10:30 p.m. ? counting vote-by-mail ballots and some early-reporting precincts ? showed Supervisors Jim Holmes of District 3, Jennifer Montgomery in District 5 and Kirk Uhler in District 4 with healthy leads. North Auburn?s Holmes, representing portions of rural Auburn as well as Loomis, Rocklin and Newcastle, was challenged by Robert Grigas of Newcastle. The early numbers from Placer County elections showed Holmes was polling double the votes of Grigas, with 66.03 percent of the vote. With 21.37 percent of the vote counted, the numbers showed Holmes with 3,413 votes to 1,729 for Grigas. Holmes expressed thanks to his supporters but also to Grigas ? a first time candidate for elected office. This was the 11th election for Holmes. He?s never been defeated in runs for supervisor, Auburn Union School District trustee and board member on the old Placer Consolidated Fire Protection District. ?I want to think Mr. Grigas for the challenge,? Holmes said. ?He forced me out and made me do a little more. I thank him for taking the chance and challenging me. I turned it up a few notches, particularly in Rocklin. I felt comfortable but you never know.? Grigas said that while the early numbers looked ?grim? he owed it to his supporters to wait until the full count was in before making a statement on the outcome. ?I?m really glad I had an opportunity to participate and feel got the message out in the marketplace and that?s a good thing,? Grigas said. ?People heard and liked what we had to say. We had significant financial constraints but I completely understand that as well.? Uhler, whose District 4 includes Granite Bay and parts of Roseville, was handily fending off Granite Bay?s Pam Tobin. Uhler?s vote total of 4,523 represented 59.69 percent of the 7,578 votes counted. Tobin polled 3,040 votes, or 40.12 percent. Montgomery, perhaps, had the toughest challenge as she faced an election against four candidates ? Jerry Johnson of Meadow Vista, Rich Johnson of Auburn, Gary Johnson of Colfax and Mark Wright of Colfax. But the early results, with 6,818 votes counted, showed Montgomery with more than 50 percent of the vote and in position to avoid a runoff in November with the second leading vote-getter. A runoff would happen if no candidate in the District 5 race polled a majority. Montgomery garnered 52.83 percent of the early vote count and 4,323 votes. Jerry Johnson was in second place, with 1,349 votes ? or 16.49 percent. Auburn?s Rich Johnson followed close behind, with 1,147 votes, or 14.02 percent. Gary Johnson, with 677 votes (8.27 percent) and Wright (663, 8.1 percent) trailed the other three.