Potter turns back big-money
challenge from Del Piero
Published: November 9, 2012
WHILE LONGTERM Monterey County
5th District Supervisor Dave Potter celebrated his reelection
this week, challenger Marc Del Piero refused to concede,
pointing to thousands of uncounted absentee and provisional
Potter received 15,200 votes to Del Piero’s 12,786, according
to preliminary results from the Monterey County Elections
office, giving Potter a healthy lead over his challenger.
Despite the early numbers that heavily favor Potter, Del Piero
was defiant during a brief interview with the Pine Cone, saying
tens of thousands of votes have yet to be counted.
“I know there are 26,000 vote-by-mail ballots that haven’t been
counted, probably another 7,000 envelopes that were dropped off
at the precincts that haven’t been counted, and potentially
7,000 provisional ballots,” Del Piero said Wednesday. “I don’t
have any comments on anything at this point.”
The county elections office has 28 days to certify the
election, including counting absentee and other ballots.
Meanwhile, Potter, who has been supervisor for 16 years, said
he didn’t think the uncounted votes would help Del Piero close
“I don’t think it’s possible to recoup that,” Potter said.
The race for the supervisor’s seat was costly, with the
candidates raising a total of about $600,000. Most of Del
Piero’s money came from the North Salinas Valley Fund for
Responsible Growth — a slow-growth group that gave him a
total of $132,500.
Potter Wednesday took aim at the group, which is made up of
LandWatch Monterey County activists and others, whose board
members mostly do not live on the Monterey Peninsula.
“This was a blatant attempt to buy that seat,” Potter said. “I found it appalling and was relieved that it did not succeed.”
The tax-exempt organization got into county politics after
receiving a $600,000 settlement in 2008 from a legal fight it
waged with Monterey County over permits for Butterfly Village,
the proposed residential development north of Salinas.
Besides the North Salinas Valley group, Del Piero had other
unlikely supporters including the local Green Party and other
left-leaning activists who don’t often side with Republicans
like Del Piero.
Del Piero ran a campaign promising transparency, accountability and “honest government,” but did not offer evidence to show Potter or the other supervisors had been dishonest or untransparent.
Both men ran costly TV spots, but each took completely
While Potter’s ad portrayed him as down to earth and relaxed,
with testimonials from his supporters, Del Piero’s ad, in
contrast, was matter-of-fact.
In a rare endorsement for a political candidate, The Pine Cone
offered its support to Potter in last week’s edition, a move the
supervisor said was helpful to his campaign.
Potter also poked fun at the Monterey County Herald, which
endorsed Del Piero. “Obviously, it goes to show the Herald’s
editorial board doesn’t know what the heck they are talking
about,” he said.