No supe-rise

The two Sues appear triumphant four months after they fled board chambers following unpopular vote

Rich Desmond

Rich Desmond

Photo from the Desmond campaign

This story has been updated from its print version.

If a downtown City Council election showed that renter anxiety could translate into a political upset, it was a far different story in the suburbs, where two Sacramento County supervisors who fled their chambers after killing an anti-eviction ordinance asserted their will on the electorate.

District 4 Supervisor Sue Frost cruised to reelection with 75% of voters supporting her over Bridget Duffy, a homemaker who raised no money and didn’t mount a campaign past getting her name on the March 3 ballot.

According to the updated count released March 11, Frost had accumulated north of 38,000 votes from Antelope, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Orangevale, Rancho Murieta, Rio Linda and other parts of the northeastern county.

Frost has struggled to articulate her political priorities in interviews, but was a reliable vote for her top donors in her first term, including real estate and construction interests.

Frost and Supervisor Susan Peters prevented their five-person board from adopting protections against unjustified evictions in November. With Peters set to retire at the end of her current term, her chosen successor is leading the crowded District 3 race to succeed her.

As of Tuesday’s update, retired California Highway Patrol commander Rich Desmond led his four opponents with 44% of the vote. His closest rival, SMUD director Gregg Fishman, was trailing by more than 9,400 votes at 25%.

The results closely mirrored the fundraising capability of the candidates. Desmond accrued $239,154 through February, much of it from law enforcement, attorneys, real estate and development interests. Fishman raised just shy of $87,000 through the same period, mostly from labor.

In a March 5 statement, just after the first election tallies came in, Desmond thanked his supporters and sounded confident about his chances of making it to the Nov. 3 general election.

“We had a very strong showing with nearly double the amount of votes of the next highest competitor,” his statement said.

Yet while elections to local political offices are supposed to be nonpartisan, it’s notable that Desmond was the lone Republican facing four Democratic candidates. Together, they drew 27,107 votes, outpacing Desmond by 5,376 in the most recent tally.

If there is a November runoff, one of the questions will be whether that support will coalesce around a centrist like Fishman.