Sunday, 26 May 2024

La Faver, Comstock set for November runoff in District 1

SOUTH LAKE COUNTY – With its packed field, the campaign for District 1 has looked very much like a horse race and, true to form, Tuesday's result was a photo finish.

Susanne La Faver took 31.7 percent of the vote, with James Comstock coming in a hair behind at 30.5 percent of the south county vote.

In the final results Tuesday – which the Elections Office still must officially certify – La Faver took 599 votes, with Comstock edging to within 22 votes of her, with 577.

Don Dornbush, who came close to upsetting Ed Robey in his reelection bid four years ago, placed third, with 232 votes or 12.3 percent of the vote, followed by Scott Fergusson, 208 votes, 11 percent; Robert MacIntyre, 171 votes, 9 percent; and Joey Luiz, 99 votes, 5.2 percent. There also were four write-in candidates which accounted for 0.2 percent of the vote.

As the two frontrunners, La Faver and Comstock will now gear up for the next phase of the race, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 4, in concert with the presidential election.

La Faver said Tuesday's results were exactly what she had expected.

“We campaigned against five tough candidates,” she said. “We’re thrilled to be the top choice of District 1 voters. We look forward to discussing the issues with voters and our opponent during the next five months, then going on to win in November.”

Comstock said Tuesday night that it felt “really good” to be in the runoff.

La Faver, 59, a consultant and graduate business instructor at Golden Gate Unviersity, was one of the first candidates to declare her intention to run for the District 1 seat last summer when Supervisor Ed Robey announced he would not seek reelection. She later garnered Robey's endorsement.

Comstock, 58, a longtime member of the Middletown Unified School District Board of Trustees and a well-known local businessman and rancher, came into the race after La Faver.

“We got in a little later, and we're playing catch up and it looks like we caught up,” he said.

Throughout the returns Tuesday night, Comstock and La Faver had topped the field, with La Faver beginning with a sizable lead of absentees and votes reported from the initial precincts.

But as the last precincts were tallied, Comstock had closed the gap, coming to within less than two dozen votes of a tie.

Comstock said his lead issues – which have remained the same from the beginning – are jobs and the creation of businesses locally, which he said have resonated with people. His school board experience and lifelong residency also gained him support, he added.

Both La Faver and Comstock are getting ready to kick their campaigns into high gear for the five-month stretch ahead.

That includes looking at returns and trying to pick up voters from the four candidates – Dornbush, Fergusson, MacIntyre and Luiz – whose campaigns ended Tuesday.

La Faver said Tuesday she already had spoken with Joey Luiz and invited him to join her summer and fall campaign, indicating he had accepted.

Comstock said he suspects the November turnout will be much higher than that on Tuesday, which between absentees and precinct ballots cast amounted to 25.2 percent countywide, according to the Registrar of Voters report, with a 27.1 percent turnout in District 1.

Of the greater turnout expected in November, he added, “Who knows who that's gong to benefit?”

Find out more about the candidates at and

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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