Upset in Douglas commissioner race

Two-term incumbent Don Miner lost his Douglas County Commission seat to retiring Tahoe-Douglas Fire Chief Tim Smith in a close race Tuesday, while fellow incumbent Jacque Etchegoyhen retained his post.

The final vote showed Miner with 7,387 votes, or 48 percent, and Smith with 7,791 votes or 51 percent for the District 4 seat.

"I am really gratified with the outcome and look forward to the challenges ahead," said Smith, a Genoa resident. "I always thought I had a chance and expected it to be close."

Miner, who lives in Stateline, said although the race was close, the 500 or so votes that pushed Smith on top "was all it took to win." Miner congratulated Smith and commended him for running a low-key campaign.

Miner, a chiropractor in Lake Tahoe, said his golf game will be improving once he gives up his seat in January.

"I will be available for any organization," he said. "I am not going away. I am going to be part of this community. I have been for 25 years, and I will continue to be."

District 4 was once confined to the Lake Tahoe Basin portion of Douglas County. It now includes Genoa and part of Foothill Road because of recent redistricting.

Gardnerville resident Jacques Etechegoyhen, also a two-term incumbent, kept his District 2 seat in Tuesday's election.

District 2 runs from Johnson Lane going south, to the Minden-Tahoe Airport area, the towns of Minden and Gardnerville, from Highway 88 to the west of Foothill Lane, and south to nearly the California border and Centerville, skirts the Gardnerville Ranchos and south of Gardnerville.

Etchegoyhen garnered 8,918 votes, or 59 percent, compared to his opponent Mike Hayes, a former Douglas County planning commissioner, who received 6,150 votes or 40 percent.

"I was sure Jacques would win," said Hayes. "I would have liked to be a board member. But if I can't do it, I am glad Jacques will be."

Etchegoyhen said it feels good to keep his seat.

"When you have been a commissioner for eight years, every Thursday (commission meeting) you have an opportunity to make a few enemies just by your decision making.

"In the next four years, growth management will be the issue."


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