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Petaluma’s business-backed candidates claim victory


Petaluma voters sent a clear message Tuesday as three business-backed candidates appear to have won City Council seats over three others supported by progressive interests.

Also, Measure X, a $52 annual parcel tax to fund a variety of parks and recreation improvements, was losing with 61.1 percent of the vote. The 15-year tax needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

With all 24 precincts reporting, incumbents Mike Healy and Gabe Kearney and Healy’s running-mate, Kathy Miller, led the pack of six candidates seeking three seats on the seven-member council.

Trailing were incumbent Tiffany Renée and challengers Jason Davies and Alicia Kae Herries.

Healy led all candidates with 25.1 percent of the vote, followed by Kearney with 16.9 percent and Miller with 16.4 percent.

They were followed by Renée with 14.5 percent, Davies with 13.8 percent and Herries with 13.2 percent.

The election of Healy, Miller and Kearney tilts the council in a more moderate direction, installing a potential 5-2 majority that, with Chris Albertson and Mike Harris, could be more accommodating to business, growth and development.

Mayor David Glass and Councilwoman Teresa Barrett represent more progressive views on the council.

Healy said he sees a bloc including himself, Miller and Kearney siding at times with the more conservative Harris-Albertson side and at times with Glass-Barrett. Harris is the council’s only Republican, though the board is nonpartisan.

“We have clear direction from the community that this is what they want, council members that will work together to make sure this community moves forward,” Kearney said.

Healy was seeking a fourth term and Renée a second. Kearney was appointed in 2011 to fill a vacant seat. The race was Miller and Herries’ first, while Davies ran in 2010.

You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 762-7297 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com.

7 Responses to “Petaluma’s business-backed candidates claim victory”

  1. Jeff says:

    Rohnert Park/Cotati will still continue to enjoying the sales tax dollars the citizens of Petaluma bring to this area.

  2. Wilson says:

    What Progressive gridlock? The Progressives haven’t had a Petaluma City Council majority for 12 years. And when was the Telecom boom when Petaluma actually had 2,000 more good paying jobs than they have now? Why 12 years ago.

  3. BigDogatPlay says:

    I feel much better about Petaluma’s chances moving forward than I did on the day before the election. Finally we are beginning to break the grip of the Keller / Maguire / Torliatt faction on the council. Maybe now we can have responsible growth that provides economic activity while preserving the small town feeling that we cherish.

    Hopefully we now have a council majority that will have the courage to open the city’s finances to a full examination to determine where our money is really being spent. A council that will have the common sense to not fund road diets and roundabouts when so many of the city’s street are in such disrepair. A council that will prioritize public safety and stop funding empty transit buses.

    Perhaps it’s too much to hope for, but that’s one vision for Petaluma that this new council should embrace.

  4. Steven Encinas says:

    I sure hope we Petalumans will “succeed”. And I hope that “success” means a vibrant, sustainable economy and environment, keeping small local business alive. Let’s hope the council keeps to Petaluma’s small town values, and does not allow big business to come in and siphon out our revenue to their headquarters in other states.

  5. Doomed to succeed says:

    Petaluma is doomed to succeed.

    Very happy to see the progressive gridlock gone. Yes, Petaluma is doomed to see business flourish, jobs to be created, and get on the road to financial health. The progressives created one heck of a mess to clean up, but I now have some hope.

  6. Wilson says:

    Petaluma is doomed.

  7. Terry says:

    To me, the Levine victory and this race, are clear indications that the strangle hold that the Labor Council and the extremest elements within the dem party have been resoundly rejected by the people. They have grown tired of the anti-business rhetoric that has dominated south of Santa Rosa. Unfortunately Santa Rosa/Sonoma haven’t quite learned its lesson yet, but it will if Susan Gorin does not recognize that half of the voters in her district actually voted for a more centrist candidate and therefore deserve representation too. I have my doubts that she will move to the center, but holding out hope she will.

    We will also see this in Santa Rosa if Julie Combs has her way. She is an extremist on par with Tiffany Renee. Combs will be a “one termer” if she does not moderate her world view and recognize that business is also a part of the “neighborhood fabric.”