Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

Incumbents win with strong leads over challengers

The "team" is intact.

In the race for Crescent City Harbor Commission, all three incumbents were re-elected Tuesday, validating the stance the incumbents took throughout campaigning, which was essentially: "Why mess with a good thing?"

Scott Feller, James Ramsey, and Wes White all had substantial leads over their challengers. Even the closest challenger, Ken Cowan, trailed the lowest-vote-getting incumbent (Feller) by more than 500 votes.

The incumbents will continue to oversee the current reconstruction of the inner boat basin, which is currently in a rush to install steel pilings before Nov. 15 while in-water work is still allowed. Pile-driving resumed Monday after being delayed by a malfunction on the specialized drill bit used for the task. Several piles for E Dock on the north side of the basin were installed this week.

In the commission race, Ramsey was the top vote-getter with 3,802 votes, followed by White with 3,343 votes. Feller had 3,222.

"It's nice to see that the county recognizes the efforts of the incumbents on our path to rebuilding the harbor," Feller said Wednesday. "I'm happy that we have a team that is working well together."

Ramsey also highlighted the good working relationship between the incumbents and set his eyes on the future.

"I feel very lucky that God was watching out for me," Ramsey said. "I'm looking forward to another four years of getting this harbor rebuilt and transitioning it to a multi-use, multi-function harbor."

Coming in as the top vote-getter was quite the turn-around from Ramsey's first election four years ago. "I was the one who got elected by rolling dice," he said, referring to the tie-breaking device that got him elected in 2008.

This was the first election for White, the CEO of Hambro Group, who was appointed to the commission in February 2011. He said he expressed interest in the position because he thought he could apply his business experience to a harbor running annual deficits. Then the March 2011 tsunami hit, rerouting the commission's focus.

White is looking forward to revisiting the goals that attracted him to the position. The reconstruction of the inner boat basin is more or less out of the commissioners' hands, and White's ready to move on to the next objective: making money.

"In a lot of ways, we need to view (the harbor) as a business," White said. "We need to transition away from continually running deficits to 'how can we make this thing at least break even?' and 'how can we have it make money?'"

Ramsey, a retired educator, spent part of Election Day as a poll observer at Grace Lutheran Church and First Five, looking for the names of people to call who had yet to vote. He spent the evening at the county Democratic Party headquarters, eyes glued to a TV screen, more focused on state propositions than his own race.

Feller, a land and political consultant, had a vested interest in elections beyond his own race. Since Jim Nielsen was the top vote-getter for the state Senate4th district race (and he is likely to avoid a runoff election), Feller will continue to serve as the Del Norte representative for the state senator, a position he held previously with Doug LaMalfa.

"Looking forward" and "good team" were common phrases uttered by the incumbents, and with a full plate of projects on the horizon, their tone certainly fits the bill.

Reach Adam Spencer