Susan Gorin and John Sawyer long have been rivals on the Santa Rosa City Council, staking out contrasting positions on land use, fiscal issues and neighborhood involvement.
But the election to decide who takes over the 1st District seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, held for 10 years by Valerie Brown, marks the first time the political opposites have become opponents on the ballot.
The bruising runoff, now more than a year old, is being fought along familiar fronts for the candidates and their dueling political camps.
Sonoma Mayor Joanne Sanders announced that she will not seek a third term in office, saying she instead will concentrate on her family and running the employment staffing firm she owns with her husband.
Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday unanimously backed a one-year, $8 million increase in road funding and a search for additional tax revenue to boost long-term road maintenance. The moves were intended to address a reconstruction backlog of nearly $1 billion and tamp down public furor over the beleaguered state of county-maintained roads. ‘It’s very clear that this board is dealing with a legacy problem,’ said Supervisor Mike McGuire. ‘We are just starting to dig out of the mess we’re in.’
Hours after advancing to a runoff for an open seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, Susan Gorin and John Sawyer, both buoyant and sleep-deprived Wednesday, were already charting their next moves. Their showdown this fall could produce the swing vote on controversial land-use issues and factor heavily in decisions about economic development, pension system overhaul and spending on county services including road upkeep. Meanwhile, one of the Sonoma Valley candidates blamed another for jumping in the race late, further splitting the vote.
November’s race for the east county representative to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will be between Santa Rosa council members John Sawyer and Susan Gorin.
Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo has raised far more money than his two challengers and all other candidates vying for local elected office, newly disclosed campaign finance records show. Facing the surprise challenge of a former supervisor, Carrillo, 31 and nearing his first full term in office, gunned his campaign into action, raising in just two months $92,322 and spending $95,406. He still has $73,566 in the bank, records covering March 18 through May 19 show. The activity dwarfs that of his that two opponents, former 5th District Supervisor Ernie Carpenter and former Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Veronica Jacobi.
Two Santa Rosa-based candidates seeking to replace retiring Sonoma County Supervisor Valerie Brown have maintained their fundraising edge over their Sonoma Valley-based opponents, according to new disclosures filed Thursday.
Valerie Brown’s pending retirement from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has led to the most sharply contested race for that seat in decades, and the outcome could alter the balance of political power in the county for years. Six candidates are vying for the 1st District post that has traditionally been thought of as the Sonoma Valley seat and has been won by a person who lives there. But redrawn political boundaries that include more of Santa Rosa and the resulting candidacies from John Sawyer and Susan Gorin — both Santa Rosa City Council members — could shift the district’s center of political power northwest.
With a road maintenance backlog of $120 million and only $4.5 million dedicated to long-term road upkeep, does anything the 1st District candidates suggest stand any chance of finding support among the public or generating enough money to put a dent in the problem? Three of the five candidates in the race say part of the solution lies in asking county residents to raise their taxes.
Sonoma Mayor Joanne Sanders loaned herself $40,000 for her bid to replace Valerie Brown on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, an amount that catapults Sanders to the top of the current fund-raising standings. In addition to the loan, Sanders received $4,605 in donations for the reporting period covering Jan. 1 through March 17, according to her campaign finance report. ‘I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to win this race,’ Sanders says.