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Contra Costa: More retirements on the way?

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Monday, March 8th, 2010 at 6:06 pm in 2010 election, Contra Costa County.

Two top executives in the offices of the Contra Costa County Auditor-Controller and Treasurer-Tax Collector filed today to run for their boss’ jobs, a strong indication that two more veteran countywide elected officials will retire.

Russell Watts of Brentwood, chief deputy Treasurer-Tax Collector, pulled papers in the election clerk’s office to run for the post held by incumbent Treasurer-Tax Collector Bill Pollacek.

Robert Campbell of Concord, chief accountant in the payroll and property division, also pulled papers to run for the job held by incumbent Auditor-Controller Steve Ybarra.

Neither incumbent has made any official retirement announcements and top department aides rarely run against their bosses.

Incumbent Sheriff Warren Rupf and District Attorney Robert Kochly have both announced their retirements, which has inspired fierce campaigns for the open seats.

Friday is the filing deadline for candidates who wish to run in the June election unless the incumbent does not seek re-election; in those offices, the deadline is extended to March 17.

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  • Mike F.

    Alright more of the same. YAAAAA!

    Is there some cooperation going on here?

    Go Contra Costa Machine politics!

  • John W.

    Cook County, Illinois has got nothing on Contra Costa.

  • steve weir

    Come on, folks. DA Bob Kochly, Assessor Gus Kramer, and Treasurer/Tax Collector Bill Pollacek all came to office in an open election. Sheriff Warren Rupf, Auditor/Controller Steve Ybarra and myself, County Clerk, were appointed to fill a vacancy in office. The Sheriff was appointed when then Sheriff, Richard Rainey was elected to the State Assembly; Steve Ybarra was appointed when Ken Corcoran retired mid term; and I was appointed upon the death of County Clerk James Olssen. One usually imagines “gaming” the system by retiring mid-term in favor of an appointment by the Board of Supervisors for some favored replacement. That, obviously, has not happened here.

    That someone from within the office would seek the position, in an open election, is not a conspiracy. It is, most likely, a good sign that there are people willing to enter the political fray. (Yes, one must observe that an incumbent can hold off filing to favor a chosen replacement. That is why the Legislature, wisely, passed the extension rule, so that when a qualified incumbent fails to file by the designated deadline (5 pm Friday, March 12) the filing is extended five days (5 pm, Wednesday, March 17).

    I know the process, as I was appointed to my first office to fill out the term of an incumbent. In 1973, I was appointed on April 4, to fill out the unexpired term of Diane Weidner for the Contra Costa Water Board. I stood for election that November, and was able to run as an appointed incumbent (the moniker “incumbent” was not a negative at the time.)