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Update: Friend Wins District 2 Supervisor Seat Outright

The Santa Cruz police analyst will succeed Ellen Pirie on the board.

Update, 8 a.m. Wednesday: They won't need a run-off in the County Supervisor District 2 race.

Santa Cruz police analyst Zach Friend netted 57.17 percent of the vote, besting four other candidates. By walking off with more than half of the 8,915 votes cast, Friend eliminated the need for the seat to be decided between the top two vote-getters in the November election.

Friend had 5,097 votes. Daniel Beckett was second with 1,827; Antonio Rivas has 764; Douglas Deitch had 626 and Rich McInnis garnered 537.

Friend said, once in office, his priorities will be infrastructure, public safety and the preservation of park and farm lands. But he won't immediately jump into the fray.

"In the beginning, if I'm elected, I'm going to spend time listening," he said in an interview before the final vote tally was announced.

Original story, 11:30 p.m. Tuesday: Santa Cruz police analyst had an early lead in the race for Santa Cruz County Supervisor District 2, though few votes had been counted late Tuesday night.

With just mail-in ballots tallied, Friend had nearly 59 percent of the vote. had almost 18 percent and former Watsonville Mayor Antonio Rivas had 9 percent. Two other candidates combined for 13 percent of the vote.

Less than 30,000 ballots had been counted county-wide.

District 2 encompasses Capitola, Aptos, La Selva Beach, Corralitos and the western portion of Watsonville. Current District 2 Supervisor Ellen Pirie chose not to run for re-election.

One candidate must win 50 percent of the total vote, or the race will go to a run-off election in November between the top-two vote-getters.

"I'm confident that regardless of what happens tonight, I'll end up on top," Friend said.

On Election Night, Friend gathered with supporters at Bittersweet Bistro in Rio Del Mar, where a projection screen showed the slow tally of ballots.

"We're proud of the campaign we ran," Friend said. "We built bridges."

For more election results, .

John Colby June 06, 2012 at 02:39 PM
How can the voters in District 2 be dumb enough to elect Zach Friend? Talk to the guy — you can easily tell he is empty between the ears. District 2 voters are disappointing me. Is it because he had the most campaign money to spend? If you put Zach Friend on the Board of Supervisors I am going to suffer although I didn't have an opportunity to vote against him. It's not fair. These elections should be countywide not by districts.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 04:02 PM
John, can you explain why you think you will suffer with Friend on the board of supervisors?
Dan Young June 06, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Zach is a good guy who keeps his word. I've worked with him on several projects and D2 is lucky to have him as our representative.
Cathy P. June 06, 2012 at 07:00 PM
He'll certainly watch out for the interests of those living in Capitola, Aptos, La Selva Beach, and Corralitos because that's where the $$$ is. Poor Watsonville? That remains to be seen.
John Colby June 06, 2012 at 07:08 PM
That explains why District 2 voters chose Zach Friend. He'll be looking after their $$$ because he was the most well funded candidate — they were looking out for him. Poor Watsonville indeed! They are not his constituency. They always say follow the $$$ in politics. A sad statement on District 2 voters. They still disappointed me. Now I must suffer with a total dunce on the Board of Supervisors. As bad as electing Bush 2 was for the nation.
Brad Kava (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I once asked Zach what he thought of the plastic bag ban and his concern was for poor people who needed the bags and couldn't afford another dime at the market per bag that they are now charging. That wasn't a guy who just cared about the rich.
Selena Ramirez-Tosca June 06, 2012 at 10:53 PM
With an ability to forecast the future like that, you should pick the winning lottery numbers sometime. It should go without saying that not all constituents in the larger area of Dist. 2 are monied, and to generalize like that is lazy.
Cathy P. June 06, 2012 at 11:04 PM
@Selena Ramirez-Tosca: Lazy? I never said all constituents in District 2 are monied but given the economical differences in the demographics between Watsonville and say, Capitola, it does remain to be seen how well Mr. Friend will represent both. I never said he couldn't do it (hopefully better than Ellen Pirie?) As for picking the winning lottery numbers, thanks, I may just do that!
Jacob Bourne (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Cissy, don't forget that there is plenty of housing for people on fixed income in Capitola. It's not all beach houses and vacation homes.
Cathy P. June 07, 2012 at 02:02 AM
OK I'll give you that Jacob but fixed income doesn't necessarily mean low-income. I am soon to be retired (Dec) and the already retired guy and I will be on fixed incomes ourselves...and we can't afford to live in Capitola. Just saying.
Brad Kava (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Cissy. Capitola and the Santa Cruz area needs you.
Brad Kava (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 04:38 AM
As for Zach: I know he's a politician who will listen to people, rich or poor, in Spanish or English. You don't get as far as he has by ignoring the people you represent. He's gotten a great real world education working for the police. They see it all.
Cathy P. June 07, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Sorry Brad, Capitola is a nice place to visit but I definitely wouldn't want to live there. 41st Avenue traffic makes me pull my hair out! And Santa Cruz, well, Santa Cruz is just not my cuppa tea (I lived there in the early 80's). I've also lived in Aptos, Soquel and La Selva Beach (my favorite place) but finally settled in Watsonville because at the time, it was the only place we could afford to buy a house. It's a beautiful house too, I only wish it was located in La Selva, but then again, I couldn't afford it if it was!!!
Peking June 07, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Jacob, I know someone whose fixed income from pensions received as a public employee is $140,000 a year.
Cathy P. June 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM
@Peking: not trying to start a war or anything but the majority of public employees DO NOT make $140,000 in retirement. The average pension in CA is about $25,000 a year. Here are the facts http://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/about/facts/retiremem.pdf.
Peking June 07, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I agree with you. I was using the extreme example of how the phrase "fixed income" can mean many different things.
John Colby June 08, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Zach Friend really has nothing going for him. He doesn't seem at all competent — he should make a perfect politician!
Chuck June 09, 2012 at 05:25 PM
@ John Colby-- regarding your earlier comment about Zach not having anything going for him: Are you nuts? Zach Friend has everything going for him!! Like Gavin Newsom, he's got a slick, ready for soundbite hairdo, and an attractive first wife who is studying to be an attorney while working as assistant city manager. As you may recall, Gavin's lingerie model first wife is now a legal commentator on Fox News. Zach is goin' places!! He'll do a term or two here in our podunk county as he builds up towards Assembly, Senate and ultimately, a return to Washington DC. Hopefully he'll remember us "little people" when he gets to the Big Show. He does need a good scandal in his resume, though. All Washington DC people need one of those, it keeps your name in the news and at the top of Google searches. Cheers!!
John Colby June 09, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I bet Zach Friend already has some skeletons in his closet. A little birdie told me that.

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