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Democratic party issues endorsements in local races



If you’re looking for a way to tell blue from red this November among candidates for local, non-partisan offices, the first key to party preferences came in a list of endorsements issued this week.

The Sonoma County Democratic Party threw its support behind more than 20 candidates in races for local office and announced the party’s stance on some local ballot measures.

Among the local races, the top-of-the-ballot endorsement — for the 1st District county supervisor’s seat — went to Santa Rosa Councilwoman Susan Gorin. She is facing off against rival Santa Rosa councilmember John Sawyer in a closely watched contest for the seat held by retiring Supervisor Valerie Brown.

The endorsement means Gorin’s campaign will get $1,000 from the party, be able to use the party logo in her mailers and posters and be able to take advantage of canvassing and logistical support from the party headquarters in Santa Rosa.

The same support extends to those endorsed in city government races, though party contributions to their campaigns top out at $100.

The party reported endorsements in six cities, excluding Rohnert Park, Windsor and Petaluma. Democratic officials said they expect to make endorsements for the Petaluma City Council later this month, after completion of candidate interviews. Races in Rohnert Park and Windsor were uncontested, so the cities canceled those elections.

For Santa Rosa City Council, the party backed incumbent Gary Wysocky and newcomers Caroline Banuelos, Erin Carlstrom and Julie Combs.

In Cotati, endorsements went to incumbents John Dell’Osso and Susan Harvey and challenger Wendy Skillman.

In Sebastopol, the party endorsed Councilwoman Kathleen Schaffer and Robert Jacob, a medical marijuana dispensary operator making his first bid for elected office.

In Sonoma, the party backed Councilwoman Laurie Gallian and candidate Madolyn Agrimonti. In Healdsburg it endorsed Councilman Tom Chambers and in Cloverdale it backed Mary Ann Brigham, a former councilwoman.

Party leaders also handed out endorsements for Democratic incumbents in four state races and backed frontrunners in the two congressional races, although those moves only mirror decisions made by the state party.

The endorsements went to state Assembly incumbents Michael Allen, Wes Chesbro and Mariko Yamada and to state Sen. Lois Wolk.

In one congressional race, the party backed Rep. Mike Thompson for re-election. In the other, to replace retiring Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, it supported Jared Huffman, the state assemblyman making a bid to represent a newly formed North Coast district.

The party backed incumbents Laura Gonzalez and Larry Haenel and candidate Jenni Klose for board seats overseeing Santa Rosa City Schools.

Other school district endorsements included: incumbents Yvone Kennedy and Debra Mills (Bellevue Union School District); incumbent Ed Gilardi (Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District); Matt O’Donnell (Oak Grove Union School District); and Cheryl Scholar (Sonoma County Board of Education).

The party backed three local ballot measures: Measure Q, the Santa Rosa initiative in favor of district elections; Measure V, the Healdsburg sales tax increase; and Measure X, the Petaluma parcel tax proposal to support park and recreation projects.

It recommended a no vote on Measure U, the Cotati initiative to ban traffic roundabouts.

The Sonoma County Republican Party is set to issue its endorsements next week.

13 Responses to “Democratic party issues endorsements in local races”

  1. Follower says:

    Our choice has never been clearer.


    Vote your conscience.

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  2. Commonsense says:

    @Bear, and many others.
    I thought you were done posting due a family situation?? But, since you’ve returned, I will assume things are going better for you and for that I’m glad.
    However, blaming the republicans for our current situation is just plain wrong, and the same goes for those who blame only the democrats. Both political parties have been spending without limit, both have failed to really look at and fix the fraud and waste in government spending, both have failed to establish the priorities of government, and both have failed to maintain border security and deal with immigration issues and both consist of extreme views that far to often get all the media attention.
    And, as a female who has gone to college and graduate school, I can honestly say all this fuss about birth control is a non issue. I’ve never, ever been unable to obtain and/or afford it (and no, I’m not rich and didn’t have health insurance while in school, but did work two jobs). During college it was available for almost nothing (a few dollars a month for pills or a few bucks for condoms). Come on, women who take the issue seriously and who are sexually active can and do afford birth control. It’s purely a political distraction, which does have the side effect of forcing religious institutions to subsidize something they oppose (that would include many middle eastern religions based on islam, as well as catholic religions). And guess what, a persons success is theirs and whoever helps them achieve it, it has nothing to do with me and I don’t envy it or assume it’s illgotten and I don’t care how or what they do with their success. Since when did someone else’s acheivment become our failure? Based on what I know of the Romney family, they’ve earned every penny and made their money work for them, from his immigrant father to himself. Well that’s not reason enough to elect him president, it’s surely also not reason enough to eliminate him from consideration.

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  3. Time for a Change says:

    If you like the way the socialists have run this county for the past 20 years, you will vote the democrat party line as defined in this story.

    If you think there is too much unemployment, too many vacant store fronts and you are tired of the huge local government debt, you might want to end the political strangle hold the democrat machine and public unions have had on the Sonoma County econony.

    You too may want change and consider not voting the party line and consider changing the political landscape right here in Sonoma County.

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  4. Joyce Garcia says:

    @Bear, the blame game has got to stop already….we have a Republic to save! Regurgitating rhetoric of class warfare/envy and the huge lie of the so called “War against women” is not only dangerous, but it’s irresponsible on so many levels!
    I’ll just comment on your case of birth control…NO WHERE will you see that anyone wants to eliminate birth control…it’s already out there for those who want it! For the love of PETE! Rubbers are available in our schools for babies who shouldn’t even be thinking about sex. Your argument is to make birth control free for everyone? 10 to 1 they won’t take advantage of it! So the restriction on that practice is NOT TRUE! The argument is one of Freedom of Religion…this Administration is forcing religious organizations to provide birth control against their conscious. The abortion argument is that it remains legal and is practiced on rare occasions…not used as birth control as it is now…are you for killing babies in the 2nd and 3rd trimester? Partial birth? The majority of these mothers have abortions because they realized they made a mistake in the heat of passion…and you can’t tell me any different! Your call out to men is ridiculous on every level….if they are so stupid not to go to the local store and pay a few bucks to wrap it up…they deserve to pay for 18 years! Their mistake, their responsibility…NOT MINE! The Government needs to stay out of the bedrooms of the American people and stop indorsing the murders of innocent babies! The Government is there to PROTECT our 1st Amendment and that includes FREEDOM OF RELIGION!

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  5. Don says:

    So this is how the Press Democrat will endorse their candidates? Are they going to put the endorsements from other parties in the paper? Why even spend the money on local elections? Just let the PD pick who they want to win and get on with it!

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  6. Skippy says:

    “OMG if you’re looking for someone to blame, try the republicans from 1996-2009.”
    No reasons, just look at them so you don’t see Democrat frofligacy.

    “It is absolutely your right to not see this, but look at the numbers. Do you really want to lower tax rates for the hyper-wealthy to historic lows?”
    Sure. Why not? Making a rich man poorer never made a poor man richer. Unless you’re a Ca. Democrat Senator.

    “Do your really want all the offshore tax evasion?”
    Again, why not? The wealth of others does not belong to Big Govt.

    “Is Willard (Mitt) Romney really on YOUR side? With his boats and sons who never served and the Pacific Coast house with the car elevator?”
    Why wouldn’t he be? Because he’s not poor? Which politicians are poor?

    “My nephew is going to the worst province in Afghanistan as a combat medic in November.”
    God bless him. A brave volunteer making important career choices.

    “Where are Romney’s jaded kids?”
    Out making theirs.

    “With their sorority Mommy?”
    Are sororities bad places?

    “I’d also invite all the men who count somewhat on birth control to consider the likely restrictions on that practice.
    Remember it costs you 18 years of child support for any mistakes.”
    No, it should and will cost a lifetime of loving devotion and service to your child and the woman you cared about and trusted enough to engage in the most consequential activity of all: procreation.
    A child is not a mistake.
    An irresponsible cad sending support checks is not a father.
    That this is not fairly universally understood is a tragedy.
    A society that believes otherwise is already doomed.

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  7. Steveguy says:

    Oh bear, I was hoping you didn’t go away and I hope all is as good as it can be.

    Your point is sure taken by me. I don’t care much for either parties politics. It’s the extremes. There is a circle of politics where the extremes can meet. Prime example is Monsanto. They pay both sides, do their thing, and reap BILLIONS from the taxpayers. Heck the Free breakfast and lunch thing is Monsanto profits, and the Dems know it, yet whine about GMO’s and such things.

    Back to the Central Committee- When they endorsed Noreen Evans over Mike Martini they lost any credibility to me, and I have heard that Mike thought the same. He was our best real governance Council member Santa Rosa had seen in a long time. Noreen was and is a kook. But she toed the extreme line, more money for those that donate to ‘the cause’.

    The dumber the better, as the smarter ones aren’t as easily led, especially when they KNOW money is being wasted, stolen or just unaccounted for. Or they do become almost oblivious to the corruption that occurs. As long as they get their piece……

    Thanks for comin’ back bear

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  8. Steveguy says:

    As a contractor, I would recommend other companies or individuals to my customers. I would only recommend someone that was honest, charged fairly, was properly qualified and did GREAT work, not just adequate but actually great work.

    The Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee seems to recommend the opposite every time. It’s always the same inept people that are causing so much of our troubles. Alas, they are the rubber stamp, and they all will get elected, no matter what.

    For you Democrats- Goldman-Sachs, Developers ( the ‘right kind’, consultants and HUGE megacorps loves your extreme politicians as much as they love the Repub side. BOTH get large amounts of money from them. Many come dressed in green to reap a bunch of green from the Utopian ideals that the extreme left has come to embrace. Doling out MILLIONS to crooks because they ‘mean well’ and still doing it is insanity !

    We should have a $100 Million study to find out what we can do to save ourselves from a totally bankrupt Government. I’ll take only $500,000 for the consulting contract, but don’t call me on days that end in ” Y ” please.

    After all, what if I gave you $10,000 ? I expect my 1/2 a million in return. ( votes are soooo cheap to buy, a real bargain ! )

    oh my

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  9. bear says:

    OMG if you’re looking for someone to blame, try the republicans from 1996-2009.

    It is absolutely your right to not see this, but look at the numbers. Do you really want to lower tax rates for the hyper-wealthy to historic lows? Do your really want all the offshore tax evasion?

    Is Willard (Mitt) Romney really on YOUR side? With his boats and sons who never served and the Pacific Coast house with the car elevator? My nephew is going to the worst province in Afghanistan as a combat medic in November. Where are Romney’s jaded kids? With their sorority Mommy?

    I’d also invite all the men who count somewhat on birth control to consider the likely restrictions on that practice.
    Remember it costs you 18 years of child support for any mistakes.

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  10. Dan…

    It’s nice to cut and paste from Wikipedia, but their global statement about roundabouts obscures the specific problems with roundabouts in this small part of Cotati.

    First, the money: Cotati has a grant for $1.1 million which could be used for their plan, which costs $3.5 million. They have no clue where the other $2.4 million will come from, but are blundering ahead.

    Second, traffic flow: The city foolishly plans to choke a 5-lane thoroughfare into a two-lane street. With proper adjustments, a four-lane thoroughfare with signals could handle 4000 cars/hour. The city is now claiming the new street will handle 1700 cars/hour. The remaining traffic will either back up, divert through side streets, or just stop visiting Cotati.

    Third: The only two plans the city proposes both contain an 18-foot median strip. Who needs a landscaped strip that oversized? Nobody but city staff, who are using this to pad their resumes.

    Fourth: In 2004, the city of Pleasanton spent $6 million to rebuild a stretch of Vineyard Avenue, and add one roundabout. two years later, vehicle accidents were up 50%, bicyclists were afraid to enter it, and the city spent $600,000 to tear it out.

    There’s a lot more at http://www.noroundabouts.com I hope you’ll be open-minded enough to read it.

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  11. Juvenal says:

    Que Sera:

    If you are not a Democrat, mind your own business. If you are a Republican, set to work adopting a set of core values which are both coherent and of interest to the voters of California.

    PS: It’s never to soon to begin whining about how re-districting wasn’t fair… .

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  12. Que Sera says:

    Amazing! The federal and state govts are broke, our courts are corrupt, our schools cant teach, our police are overpaid and over benefitted, our roads are a disaster, thousands have lost their homes, there are no jobs, and no new businesses wanting to come here, we have among the highest taxes in the country on both income and sales taxes etc, to name a few issues, not all, and there is no trust in govt! Yet Democrats endorse those that caused all of this!
    What we need is a mini revolution and clean the whole lot out!

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  13. Dan J Drummond says:

    Cotati and other cities could save tax payer dollars by using modern roundabouts. In many cases, the modern roundabout is a better design than intersections with traffic lights. The following advantages of roundabouts are from Wikipedia.

    - Compared to intersections, Roundabouts operate more efficiently and thus reduce delays and congestion as they are not at the whim of an artificially induced delay by traffic signals. Efficiency is gained by a direct response from the driver to the traffic conditions without any restrictions set by traffic signals – i.e. drivers may proceed when traffic is clear without the delay incurred by a traffic signal.

    - Roundabouts allow U-turns within the normal flow of traffic, which often are not possible at other forms of junction.

    - Roundabouts are safer than signal controlled junctions, with crashes usually occurring at a slower speed and at a slight angle instead of right-angle or rear-end collisions at junctions.

    In the United States, municipalities introducing new roundabouts often are met with some degree of public resistance before trying them, just as in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Drivers may be unfamiliar with roundabouts initially; however, surveys show that negative public opinion reverses as drivers gain experience with roundabouts. A 1998 survey of municipalities that built roundabouts found public opinion prior to construction as 68% opposed; afterwards it was 73% in favor. A 2007 survey of citizens found public support ranging from 22% to 44% prior to construction, and several years after construction was 57% to 87%.

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