Thursday, June 10, 2010
As friends and family walk into the Whole Enchilada in Moss Landing, Lou Calcagno welcomes each group with a hug or a handshake.
“Get in line for food – there is plenty for everyone,” Calcagno says with a bright smile.
The District 2 race turned out closer than some had expected, but incumbent Calcagno ended up with 54 percent of the vote, earning him a fourth term as Monterey County supervisor.
His opponent, north county horse rancher Ed Mitchell, ran a tough campaign, arguing that the district – Castroville, Moss Landing, Prunedale and North Salinas – needed an updated style of management with regards to ongoing water problems and closed-off public records. Mitchell says the incumbent hasn’t done enough for his part of the county.
“THE ISSUES IN NORTH COUNTY DON’T GO AWAY EVEN IF THE INCUMBENT STAYS IN OFFICE.”
In a phone call with the Weekly prior to the election, Mitchell hinted that if not elected, he will still be involved in local politics.
“The issues in North County don’t go away even if the incumbent stays in office. We need to take care of the people in the community,” he says. “My allegiance isn’t to holding a position. It is more to continuing to help the community and my neighbors.”
Mitchell approached his campaign with a grassrooots, personal touch.
“One of the most surprising and satisfying things was that by knocking on doors and talking to live people, [we’ve seen that] people have been open and accepting,” he says. “The people in the area really care about what is going on in the community.
Back at the Whole Enchilada, Calcagno watches the absentee results trickle in. Supporters sip glasses of white wine and dip chips in salsa while switching between the state results and America’s Got Talent. The smell of chicken tacos and deep-fried artichoke hearts wafts though the dining rooms.
“It was a good campaign. Lou took a very broad approach to the issues, while Ed had more of a narrow focus,” says supporter Bill Perkins.
But Perkins Calcagno will be dealing with some hard issues in his fourth term.
“A lot of people don’t want to hear it, but the general plan is far from finished and even now, things are becoming untied,” he says. “It is going to be something that needs to be fixed.”
The re-elected supervisor agrees.
“The state budget is going to be hard,” Calcagno says. “How we re-organize the government is going to be important, but tough.”