By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday for a primary election that will decide several local and statewide races.

Locally, incumbent county Supervisor Clyde Eller and Sarah Sampels face off; for sheriff, Mike Ross, Dean Wilson, George Mina and Tom Galbraith are running; and for district attorney, incumbent Bob Drossel is being challenged by Nan Udell, and Mike Riese.

At the Del Norte County clerks office, final preparations for the election are being made.

We have to compare all the signatures on the absentee ballots and verify their authenticity. Plus we have to get all these ballots ready to go to all the voting places and there are many, said Del Norte County clerk-recorder Vicki Frazier as she thumbed through hundreds of pounds of ballots.

Because this is a primary, there are seven different ballots representing the choices in each political party: Republican, Democrat, American Independent, Libertarian, Reform, Natural Law and Green parties.

The same candidates will appear on all ballots for the local election except three. In the 4th District race for Del Norte County supervisor, Eller and Sampels will appear only on ballots in that district.

Voters in all districts will be casting their ballots for the seven candidates vying for Del Norte County sheriff-coroner and district attorney posts.

The sheriff race, with four candidates, has the greatest possibility of a run-off if none of the contestants receives a clear majority.

If none of the candidates receives 50 percent of the votes, plus one, then the two highest people will go to the November election, Frazier said.

A run-off is also possible in the three-way race for district attorney.

Judge Robert W. Weir, whose term is expiring, will not appear on any ballots because he is running unopposed. This exclusion applies to judicial candidates only, according to Frazier. Weir is also the only local candidate running for a six-year term. All other local candidates are running for four-year terms.

Local candidates who are running unopposed and will appear on all ballots are: Francis J. Lynch for county superintendent of schools, Gerald D. Cochran for assessor, Christie L. Babich for auditor-controller, Dawn M. Langston for treasurer-tax collector and Frazier for county clerk-recorder.

There are six ballot propositions seeking favor with voters. The first two are bond measures:

Prop 40: The California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks and Coastal Protection Act.

Prop 41: Voting Modernization Bond Act.

Prop 42: Transportation Congestion Improvement Act.

Prop 43: Right To Have Vote Counted.

Prop 44: Chiropractors. Unprofessional Conduct.

Prop 45: Legislative Term Limits.

Complete information on the propositions can be found on the internet at:

Democrats and Republicans will have a choice to replace retiring 1st District Assemblymember Virginia Strom-Martin.

The Democratic contestants are: Ed Robey, 55, of Clearlake City; Jim Mastin, 48, of Ukiah; Robert Bob Jehn, 57; of Cloverdale and Patty Berg, 59, of Eureka.

Republican candidates are: Rob Brown, 41, of Kelseyville, Tim Stoen of Ukiah and Clay Romero, 41, of Willits.

Republicans also have a choice in this primary for 4th District State Senator: Sam Aanestad, 55, of Grass Valley and Dick Dickerson, 64, of Redding.

In District One for U.S. Representative, Incumbent Mike Thompson (D-Napa), Lawrence Wiesner (R-Santa Rosa) and Kevin Bastian (L-Eureka) are running unopposed in their parties.

In statewide races, most primary races with more than one candidate from their parties are Democrat and Republican. Unopposed candidates are not listed below.

For California state governor, Democrats Gray Davis, Mosemarie Boyd, Anselmo Chavez and Charles Pineda Jr. are the candidates. Republican candidates are Danney Ball, Edie Bukewihge, Jim Dimov, Nick Jesson, Bill Jones, Richard Riordan and Bill Simon.

For lieutenant governor, Republicans Bruce McPherson and Ellie Michaels are battling for a slot on the November ballot.

Five Democrats are in the hunt for secretary of state. These are: Michela Alioto, March Fong Eu, Carl Henley, Shawn Casey OBrien and Kevin Shelley. Republicans candidates for the office are Barbara Jean Marr, Keith Olberg and Mike Schafer.

For state controller, Republicans Dean Andal, Nancy Beecham, W. Snow Hume and Tom McClintock are in the race. There are also two Democrats, Johan Klehs and Steve Westly, and two Green Party candidates, David DeLano Blanco and Laura Wells.

Two Republicans are battling for the treasurers office, Greg Conlon and Mary A. Toman, while two Democrats are fighting for attorney general, Bill Lockyer and Mike Schmier.

Democrats Thomas Calderon, John Garamendi, Tom Umberg and Bill Winslow are vying for insurance commissioner, as are Republicans Wes Bannister, Gary Mendoza and Stefan Stitch.

Frazier said some corrected sample ballots sent by mail to residents have been mistaken as absentee ballots.

Because the ballots were sent out on card stock, people have been marking them and sending them back in, said Frazier. I want people to know not to vote on the correction ballot. But, for those who have sent them in until now, I will vote it for them, so they shouldnt worry.

Frazier says polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.