8 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY march 7-13, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com news As District 4 County Supervisor Wendy Root Askew is getting onto the elevator with her husband Dominick at the Hilton Garden Inn in Monterey on March 5, she pegs her reelection numbers—in terms of percentage of the vote—at 60 percent. They are on their way to the election night party of Kate Daniels, who’s running for the District 5 supervisor seat. Inside that party, District 2 Supervisor Glenn Church has a more bullish outlook—he guesses Askew’s vote share will be around 70 percent, a lofty number in a politically polarized nation. Askew, who was first elected in 2020, is running against Jeremiah Pressey, who also ran for a seat on the Monterey County Republican Central Committee. (Per Monterey County Elections reporting, Pressey received just 4 percent of the vote, not enough to get him elected to the committee as the lowest vote-getter out of 12 candidates. Pressey did not respond to the Weekly’s requests for comment on Election Day.) When the early results are announced to a packed second floor room at the Hilton, jubilation ensues. Daniels garners nearly 60 percent of the vote, and Askew 79 percent—a landslide. A few minutes later, Askew says, when asked for a response given her prior prediction: “I’m just really excited to continue getting good work done for the district and the county. I feel really positive, so positive, about the direction we’re moving in, and the path that we’re on, and I think it’s so reassuring to know that the voters feel the same way and that we’re going to continue doing this work together.” With more votes counted by 12:30am on Wednesday, March 6, Askew held 78 percent. On A Roll Wendy Root Askew easily fends off a challenger, sailing to re-election as county supervisor. By David Schmalz The modestly sized second-floor meeting room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Monterey was packed from front to back before 8pm on Tuesday, March 5, primary election night, with about 200 people anxiously awaiting two things: the arrival of Kate Daniels, candidate for the District 5 seat on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, and the initial results of the election. Daniels arrived at just before 8:10pm—she says she believes in campaigning right up until the polls close at 8pm, and is superstitious about showing up to campaign parties until after 8:00. The election results were not in yet, but when the Monterey County Elections Department posted the early results a few minutes later, the crowd erupted in cheers. Daniels captured 59.75 percent of the first results, with 26 percent of the vote counted. There was no way for her competitors, Monterey Councilmember Alan Haffa and water policy activist Bill Lipe, to catch up. Haffa was showing just 24 percent of the vote, Lipe 16 percent. (If no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the vote in the primary, the top two vote-getters go to a November runoff. As of 12:30am March 6, Daniels holds 59.04 percent.) “The enthusiasm out there in the field, everywhere we went, the organizational support—whether it was labor, the business community, MCAR (Monterey County Association of Realtors), the environmental organizations—so many people came forward and were excited in a way I hadn’t really seen in other elections I had worked on,” Daniels says. “It was a very large coalition that was very broad, and I think they were getting excited about the possibilities of what we could do together.” She was endorsed by current supervisors Mary Adams, Glenn Church, Wendy Root Askew and Chris Lopez, as well as by Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto. Daniels will replace Adams, who chose not to run for a third term. Daniels raised a significant amount of money compared to her competitors. In campaign reporting last month, she reported raising $259,945 in 2023, 13 times more than Haffa, who raised $19,546 in the same time period. Lipe raised just $3,400 in 2023. Housing was at the top of the list of what Daniels ran on since launching her campaign in May 2023, after her mentor, Adams, announced she was not running. She advocated for both creating more housing at all levels, as well as protecting housing from vacation rentals. Other key issues included increasing the water supply and finding solutions to homelessness. Daniels had worked for Adams for two years, and was appointed to the Monterey County Planning Commission by Adams in 2020. It was Adams who asked Daniels to run her campaign in 2016 after Daniels offered to volunteer. Daniels told the crowd that Adams changed her life. After leaving Adams’ staff, Daniels went to work for State Sen. John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, as a policy adviser. Although Haffa did not win in his bid for supervisor, as of Wednesday morning, he was the top vote-getter in an 11-way race to be re-elected to the District 5 seat for the Monterey County Democratic Central Committee. He led by 1,413 votes over the second-place candidate. Kate Daniels, right, celebrates the election results. People at her election night party included Democrats and Republicans, business leaders and labor organizers. Big Win Kate Daniels clinches an early victory for the District 5 seat on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. By Pam Marino Wendy Root Askew celebrates a landslide victory on election night. In seeking a second term, she drew only one challenger who never campaigned and said he did not oppose her policies. “It was a very large coalition that was very broad.” Daniel Dreifuss Daniel Dreifuss