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Money race between Gorin, Sawyer tightens


The money race between the two candidates vying for Sonoma County’s 1st District Board of Supervisors seat has narrowed in October.

Susan Gorin, John Sawyer.

Susan Gorin still trails rival John Sawyer by more than $60,000 in contributions received since the start of the year. But Gorin eclipsed Sawyer in the latest reporting period, from October 1 to October 20, pulling in $40,641, or $8,238 more than Sawyer, campaign finance records show.

The two are long-time political opposites on the Santa Rosa City Council, and their sometimes bitter rivalry there has spilled over into the county race to decide who replaces retiring Supervisor Valerie Brown.

Sawyer’s larger overall campaign chest allowed him to continue to outspend Gorin, shelling out $58,039 in the latest period to the $31,620 spent by Gorin’s campaign.

Sawyer’s spending to date in the race also dwarfs Gorin’s. He has spent $264,660 to her $175,915.

But Gorin showed more money in the bank entering the race’s final stretch, with $53,299 on hand compared with the $11,095 reported by Sawyer.

The 1st District, represented by Brown since 2002, includes Sonoma Valley east to the Napa County line, the city of Sonoma and the unincorporated communities of Kenwood and Glen Ellen, and eastern Santa Rosa.

Sawyer has maintained a fundraising edge throughout the race, which began more than a year ago, and heated up when the two Santa Rosa politicians advanced from the June primary. Gorin was the top vote-getter, edging Sawyer by less than 200 votes.

Sawyer this year has raised $281,866, including a $16,300 loan.

His largest contributions in the latest period were $2,625 each from the Sonoma County Alliance, a coalition of local business interests, PG&E Corp., Wine Country Party and Events LLC and the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association.

After the period closed, Sawyer reported a contribution of $2,625 from C. R. Federick Inc., a North Bay engineering and electrical contractor.

Gorin this year has raised $218,421, including a $10,000 loan.

Her largest contributions this period included $2,700 from Jean Schulz, widow of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz; $2,625 from the Sheet Metal Worker’s Local Union 104 and $2,725 from the Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee.

Outside spending has picked up in the race. Two groups opposing Gorin have spent a total of more than $58,000 to date on mailers. They include a Los Angeles-based real estate committee with ties to the North Bay Association of Realtors. The committee has spent nearly $44,000 on material opposing Gorin.

The other anti-Gorin group, dubbed the Sonoma Jobs Action League, has spent over $14,000. It is backed primarily by the Sonoma County Alliance and the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area.

The group opposing Sawyer, called the Coalition for a Better Sonoma County, has reported independent expenditures of more than $16,000 during the latest period. Its spending to date in the race totals more than $58,000. It is backed primarily by Local 1021 of the Service Employees International Union, the county’s largest labor group.

(You can reach Staff Writer Brett Wilkison at 521-5295 or brett.wilkison@pressdemocrat.com.)

11 Responses to “Money race between Gorin, Sawyer tightens”

  1. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Bill me-as someone who knows EXACTLY how SEIU endorses candidates I can say that Gorin was endorsed UNANIMOUSLY IN PUBLIC, not backroom deals, and was given the amount allowed by law as a campaign donation by SEIU. This was done by UNION COPE MEMBERS, not UNION EMPLOYEES. The county safety unions have already made a backroom deal (as you call it) with Sawyer because they are excited by his deal with the 9% raise to the city’s safety unions. All we expect from Gorin, or ANY CANDIDATE, is that she will consider the health and welfare of rank and file county workers and speak for us. Since I was there when we questioned her I can say for certain that SHE WAS NOT BOUGHT. She gave us REASONABLE answers, not completely what we wanted but compared to Sawyer’s treatment of the rank and file city employees and voting history we knew she was the better candidate between the two.

    Sawyer was invited to talk to us AND HE DIDN’T EVEN BOTHER TO DECLINE. That’s what he thinks of rank and file workers.

    As for that contract you talk about. It was a questionaire, like you would use when hiring a new employee. The “pledge” was purely a statement that she would treat the county employees with respect and consideration when she made decisions about their welfare. SEIU has had rightwing candidates sign exactly the same pledge when they’ve come to talk with us. Unlike Sawyer some have actually asked for SEIU’s endorsement and came and answered all our questions. The respect went both ways.

    SEIU endorsed Mike Cale when he ran in district one even though he’s a conservative. I even voted for him even though I’m a democrat.

  2. Ken says:

    I’m voting for Sawyer because I LOVE how he raised the pension payments for public safety while raising their pay by 8% to offset the pension increase! Yay! Way to go Sawyer, Olivares (retired cop!), Ours, Bartley! And that deal was made before the last election. Chicago would be envious!

    I’m also voting for Sawyer because he’s such a Milquetoast. Why should the first district have an actual living, breathing human being? We don’t need someone who can make decisions, who understands the problems, who can actually think on their feet!

    Finally, I’m so glad Sawyer is supported by real estate developers, Southern California ones at that! I WANT SONOMA COUNTY TO LOOK JUST LIKE SOCAL! Who wouldn’t?

    Go Sawyer!

  3. Bird's of a Feather says:

    Shirlee insane Zane supports Gorin. I’m voting Sawyer

  4. bill me says:

    Sawyer did not sign a backroom deal/contract to “pledge” to support SEIU folks like Gorin did. Sawyer gets my vote because he refused to be controlled by special interests.

  5. Terry says:

    Recently there has been a boatload of negative mailers from Susan Gorin attacking John Sawyer coming in the mail. Is this (Gorin and same old attack politics) what we really want on our Sonoma County Board? I think not. I am fed up with this type of politics. Vote for John Sawyer.

  6. Will says:

    Any one wanting a job, or atleast not wanting to have to move out of the area or commute 5 hours a day needs to make sure that Gorin is not elected. Gorin doesn’t care about “All People” either!! Her anti-Christian antics led her to oppose Chic-Fil-e on the basis of preventing a drive threw that already existed at the proposed location!! Her alliance with the Sierra Club and other so called environmentalists make it nearly impossible to build on your own land. Not to metion the red tape and B.S. these people are putting companies like Target through when they want to open up shop in arease where they are already permitted to do so. DO NOT PUT GORIN IN OFFICE!!

  7. James Bennett says:

    Unfortunatly, politicians find themselves beholden to various interests to fund their campaign.

    Not good.

    But it’s better than being beholden to oppressive economy crashing, property rights taking totalitarian globalists.

    That’s exactly what being adherant to ICLEI/One Bay Area represents.

    Instead of upholding an oath to the Constitution. A Susan Gorin maintains an insideous allegiance to those that wish to oppress, control and crash us. That wish to reconfigure our hardscape and our freedoms to their Orwellian ends.

    While masquerading as a public servant.

    Tough words?

    Tough consequences.

  8. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Beef King-no Sawyer won’t care about ALL citizens. Just ask the city employees how he feels about them but leave out the city safety employees because they got a 9% raise and these are the employees that can already pad their pensions. Then he’s also made promises to the county safety employees to the detriment of the rest of the rank and file employees. I thought you rightwingers on here are anti union? Sawyer buckled to the safety employees for their support and they are ALL UNION and he’s accepted their donations. Aren’t unions special interests? Where are all your union busting comments? These unions are far more powerful than SEIU in this county.

    Then remember that Sawyer is in the pockets of all the richest companies in the county. You can tell he has money because his signs are bigger and prominantly placed in front of the big wineries and other big businesses.

  9. Billy C says:

    Government employees benefits are over the
    top and crushing us on every level State, County and City. How was this possible?
    The answer is easy. The unions “Vote for there boss” give us more and we will keep you in office. Heck they will even campaign
    for there people. Just keep the money coming. In California more money is spent by unions then any other source.
    If you are OK with that keep voting for
    union backed politicians. If not vote

  10. Juan Lock says:

    @Beef King:
    Ha! Saying that Sawyer cares about all of us, not just a few special interests is downright hilarious!

    You do know that he manufactured a pension/salary deal that benefited police and fire while harming every other union, right? He’s bought by public safety and developers, and ignorant of the rest…

  11. Beef King says:

    We need elected officials who care about ALL the citizens they represent, not just a select few special interest groups.
    Yes on Sawyer- he will use common sense to do what is best for all voters whereas Gorin will just continue the bad judgment she has shown.