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Monday, Jun 02 2014 11:14 AM

'First Look': Political consultants talk elections, turnout

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    Consultants Tracy Leach and Gene Tackett, center, discuss Tuesday's primary election with Californian Executive Editor Robert Price.

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It's hard to pinpoint who will win the seat for Kern County Assessor-Recorder. But regardless, two political consultants are predicting very low voter turnout.

Democrat Gene Tackett and Republican Tracy Leach gave their thoughts on the election Monday on "First Look with Scott Cox."

Chief appraiser Jon Lifquist, appraiser Lupe Esquivias and Bakersfield City Councilman Russell Johnson will battle it out in Tuesday's primary.

The person who ultimately wins the race will have a very important job. Kern's Assessor determines private property taxes in Kern County and keeps county records and vital documents.

"I'm into having voters decide, but a position like an assessor should be appointed," Tackett said. "Because it takes skill and it's subjective."

Leach said she believes voters should vote for their assessor, but added the requirements for the position are low.

Both talked about Johnson's upper-hand in the race -- advertising and fundraising.

"It's all about name identification, the one that people recognize," Tackett said.

But the race can take a turn at any point. If one person captures more than 50 percent of the vote, he will win outright, but a split vote would send the race to a November runoff, Leach said.

As of Monday morning, Leach said, only 21 percent of absentee ballots had been submitted.

"It's going to be a low voter turnout," she said.

Tackett and Leach also talked about the governor's race. Leach said Gov. Jerry Brown was almost unbeatable. Tackett said Brown has always tried to stay ahead of the curve.

"He's done a really good job and we have to give credit to the guys who are running against him," Tackett said.


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