By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Santa Rosa City Council candidate Mike Cook dropped out of the race Tuesday.
The landscape architect and father of two young daughters said his campaign hadn’t been getting the traction he had hoped.
Fundraising had been weak, key endorsements hadn’t materialized and he recently split with his campaign consultant.
“There were quite a few things that were stacking up against me,” Cook said.
Cook, 33, raised just $1,860 for the race by the end of June, the latest period available. By comparison, Julie Combs raised over $19,200 and Hans Dippel raised $14,500 by that time.
A former member of the city’s Design Review Board, Cook also earlier this month parted ways with his campaign consultant, Rob Muelrath. Cook declined to specify what caused the split, but he initially said he intended to carry on without Muelrath.
Some key endorsements also didn’t appear to be falling in his favor. Neither the North Bay Association of Realtors nor the Sonoma County Alliance endorsed Cook.
“If you are running as a pro-business candidate, you better have them behind you,” said Dippel, who was one of those endorsed by both business groups.
The Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, on whose board Cook sits, plans to endorse candidates on Sept. 25, said Jonathan Coe, president of the group.
Sources familiar with the situation said Cook’s decision may spare him the embarrassment of not receiving the chamber endorsement.
In a statement, Cook said he hoped that by dropping out “the business community will have a clearer picture of whom to support” in the election. He declined to name which candidates he hopes voters support.
There are now eight candidates running for four open seats on the seven-member council, which is often split 4-3 between a majority backed by business groups and a minority supported more by a labor and environmental groups.
You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or email@example.com.