By GUY KOVNER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Healdsburg City Councilman Jim Wood has virtually cornered endorsements from local Democratic leaders in his bid for the Assembly seat representing the North Coast.
Wood, who kicked off his campaign in March, announced Tuesday he had received endorsements from Sonoma County Supervisors Susan Gorin, Mike McGuire, David Rabbitt and Shirlee Zane.
Supervisor Efren Carrillo was rumored to be considering a run for the 2nd District Assembly seat prior to his arrest in July.
Wood, elected to the Healdsburg council in 2006, also has endorsements from North Coast Rep. Jared Huffman of San Rafael and Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, whose district includes Santa Rosa.
Assemblyman Wes Chesbro of Arcata, who is termed out of the 2nd District seat next year, and his predecessor, former Assemblywoman Patty Berg of Eureka, have also endorsed Wood, along with state Sen Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa, who is not seeking re-election.
Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas and District Attorney Jill Ravitch are also backing Wood.
Wood has been “methodical and patient” in collecting endorsements from Democrats, and now is the time to roll them out, said David McCuan, a Sonoma State University political scientist.
Wood’s broad support makes him the front-runner in the race that is expected to be decided in the June primary, even though a November run-off is required between the two top vote-getters, McCuan said.
Wood will likely have “a cakewalk in the fall” over a Republican opponent, he said.
Other Democrats vying for the open seat include John Lowry, former executive director of Burbank Housing in Santa Rosa, and Hezekiah Allen, a Mendocino County environmentalist who leads the Mattole Restoration Council.
No Republican candidates have surfaced, and if there isn’t one on the primary ballot Wood would face another Democrat in November.
Democrats have a nearly 2-to-1 advantage over Republicans in voter registration in the 2nd Assembly District, which stretches from the northern half of Santa Rosa to the Oregon border and includes all of Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity and Del Norte counties.
You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.