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Jeffries Widens Lead Over Incumbent in Supervisor Race

Jeffries had more votes than Supervisor Bob Buster in the latest election results.

Outgoing Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries Monday widened his lead over Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster in the race to represent the county's First District, boosting the challenger's hopes that the election cliffhanger is finally nearing a winner.

"Numerically, we believe this is the highest lead we've ever had in the last two weeks," Jeffries told City News Service. "We're feeling really good about the results."

Buster did not immediately return calls for comment.

The latest ballot count from the Nov. 6 general election had Jeffries, R- Lake Elsinore, with 56,826 votes compared to 55,692 for Buster, or 50.50 percent to 49.50 percent.

According to the Registrar of Votes' website, 33,000 provisional ballots were left to be processed. Generally, provisional ballots are requested at polling places when a person seeks to cast a ballot but his or her name does not appear on voter registration rolls. They're asked to vote provisionally, and then the county conducts research to confirm they're actually registered so their vote can be tabulated. Otherwise, it's rejected.

The next vote count update is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Jeffries said he's holding off on initiating transition plans until the outcome of the election is unequivocal.

"Frankly, I didn't want to jinx myself," Jeffries told City News Service. "I've been eagerly awaiting this opportunity. Tonight's election results seem to have delivered the results we needed."

This was the first time Buster had been forced into a runoff election since his inaugural campaign in 1992. The Harvard-educated citrus farmer failed to win more than 50 percent of the vote in the June primary.

Campaign filings showed both Buster and Jeffries spent six-figure amounts on their races, though Buster raised 60 percent more.

Buster's camp underscored a record of trying to improve the local economy and save the county money through public employee pension reform and the acquisition of federal grants for transportation projects that employee local workers.

Jeffries criticized Buster's six-figure pension and vowed that if elected, he would work to convert all the supervisors' retirement plans to self- funded 401(k)s. The property management firm owner also blasted the incumbent for supporting some aspects of  Gov. Jerry Brown's 2011 "realignment" initiative that resulted in many state responsibilities being shifted onto counties.

-City News Service

Hobie November 20, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I wonder if Jeffries is elected how much of a pension he'll have when he leaves that job. He almost insinuates that Bob Buster single-handedly set up the pension system for his own individual benefit. Considering the gamble that 401K's have turned, why would the supervisors be willing to participate? I would almost question their judgement abilities if they voted to do that. A lot of 401K's have seemingly turned out to be interest free savings accounts for most people.
Antonio November 20, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Too bad that an outstanding, ethical, hardworking leader such as Bob Buster did not receive more votes. His challenger (Jeffries) caters to special interests and panders to the voters. What a shame.
Roberto November 20, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I thought you were speaking of Romney the business man LOL!. Bob Buster been the 1st district supe for 20 years. It's time for someone else. This is not a career unto itself i.e. 1st district supe.

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