The El Dorado County library funding measure went down to defeat.
A sitting judge saved his seat.
And retired fire chief Brian Keith Veerkamp won the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors' District 3 seat in Tuesday's general election.
The races marked the close of a tough campaign stretch for the county.
Measure L, had it passed with a two-thirds majority, would have created a parcel tax to help maintain libraries from Cameron Park to South Lake Tahoe. It fell far short of the mark.
With about 67 percent of the votes tallied, semi-official results show Measure L won only 44 percent of the vote, compared to 56 percent opposed.
It was the third time in recent years that a library measure had failed in the county.
The library's operating budget is about $3.2 million, and sources of funding include the county's general fund, the library system's reserves and tax proceeds derived from existing "benefit zone" assessments that would have been replaced by Measure L.
Those zone assessments have long been inequitable, with only some areas of the county paying taxes. And some of the assessments will expire in 2015.
In the Board of Supervisors race, Veerkamp claimed 56 percent of the vote compared to 44 percent for Richard Barb in the runoff contest.
Veerkamp credited a broad-based campaign for the win.
Veerkamp spent an early part of his career in the private sector on construction and other jobs. He also devoted 30 years to fire protection service, eventually becoming chief of the El Dorado Hills Fire Department.
He served on the board of the Camino Union School District.
Veerkamp promised to refuse salary and benefits for the post.
The county's toughest competition culminated Tuesday in Superior Court Judge Warren Stracener's success in retaining his seat.
Stracener received 52 percent of the vote in his hard-fought contest with candidate Joseph Hoffman, an attorney.
Stracener was appointed to the bench in December 2010 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He had the support of many in state government.
But inside the county he faced criticism from many in the legal community and even on the court bench.
Stracener, who handles cases on juvenile criminal and dependency law, attributed the opposition to his candidacy to a good-old-boys network that balked at his outsider status.