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Robin Swinth will not seek election to Santa Rosa council


Santa Rosa Vice Mayor Robin Swinth announced Tuesday she will not be seeking election to a full term in November.

The 46-year-old engineer and mother of two was appointed early last year to fill the seat vacated by now First District Supervisor Susan Gorin.

While she called it a privilege to serve on the council and is looking forward to the important work through November, Swinth said she, like many others, “struggles with the balance between work and family.”

Robin Swinth, right, was sworn in to the Santa Rosa City Council by City Clerk Terri Griffin at Santa Rosa City Hall, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. (Crista Jeremiason / PD)

Robin Swinth, right, was sworn in to the Santa Rosa City Council by City Clerk Terri Griffin at Santa Rosa City Hall, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. (Crista Jeremiason / PD)

“The best choice for my family right now is not to run for the upcoming term,” she said.

The former member of the Board of Public Utilities has been widely praised for her work ethic and thoughtful approach to complex issues such as Sonoma Clean Power and the budget.

She worked as an electrical engineer and manager at Agilent Technologies for 14 years, and her family also owns a small business.

She noted, choking up at times, that her two daughters will be 14 and 15 at the end of the upcoming four-year term “right in the middle of the teenage years.”

She said she was announcing her decision early to make sure people know the seat would be open, “hopefully creating a better opportunity for more participation in our political process.”

Swinth announced last week she was stepping down from being one of the city’s two representatives on the board of Sonoma Clean Power, citing her additional duties as vice mayor and appointment to the city-county ad hoc committee on the annexation of Roseland.

She was replaced Tuesday on Sonoma Clean Power by Councilwoman Julie Combs. Three of the seven council seats are open in 2014. Mayor Scott Bartley and Jake Ours are also up for reelection. Neither has announced whether they intend to run. Two people, Planning Commissioner Curtis Byrd and former Press Democrat columnist Chris Coursey have announced plans to run.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @citybeater.

5 Responses to “Robin Swinth will not seek election to Santa Rosa council”

  1. Extremists on City Council: Wysocky and Combs says:

    @ Robert

    The two people on the Santa Rosa City Council who represent the far left equivalent to the republican tea party are Julie Combs and Gary Wysocky. They both are members of the “Progressive Democrats of America” a group established just a few years ago for mostly ex Green Party voters who wanted to make the Democratic Party more like the Green Party…Norman Solomon is their leader.

    Combs actually drove to Marin County last summer to protest at a Democratic Party fundraiser. Not exactly a mainstream person. Wysocky is only sounding like a populist these days because he is running for office. Again.

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  2. Robert says:

    Sane, balanced people do not want to serve in elected office. Why, because here in California, particularly in Sonoma County, the progressive politics are so bad and the back bitting terrible you would have to have a very large axe to grind and in most cases to be believer in left wing causes and unions to stay committed.

    It gets very boring and not much good is ever done.

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  3. Bill me says:

    She will be sorely missed. Smart, level headed, and not a “grand stander”. Rare on this council.

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  4. Robin Swinth Sorry to See You Leave says:


    Yes. Robin actually was a great choice as an appointee. She had the experience and the knowledge after having served on the Planning Commission and Design Review…one of the few without conflicts of interest or some ultra left ideology to impose on this City.

    Too bad there’s not a public service team running candidates for office.

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  5. Papa ESoCo says:

    Too bad, she seemed one of the saner ones on the council and actually cared about constituents.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

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