The Cotati City Council voted 4-0 Wednesday to seek applicants to fill a vacancy on the dais created by the resignation of Pat Gilardi, who is taking a job with new 1st District County Supervisor Susan Gorin.
Sonoma County voters on Tuesday will begin the process of replacing retiring Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and filling a heavily contested Assembly seat, likely creating first-ever runoffs between two Democrats. In addition, with new district boundaries in force for the first time, voters will have a say in four other races for Congress, the Assembly and state Senate. Tuesday’s election, the first statewide vote under California’s top two primary system, is expected to set up three November run-offs between two Democrats instead of a Democrat and a Republican.
Political third parties, which typically veer to the left or right of the Democrats and Republicans, don’t like California’s new top-two, open primary that makes its debut in the June 5 election. ‘It cuts us out of any chance of winning,’ said Pamela Elizondo of Laytonville, a veteran third-party candidate who is running for the North Coast Assembly seat this year.
Republican Michael Halliwell of Cotati, making his fourth run for Congress, acknowledged Wednesday that he does not live in the new North Coast district. Halliwell, a retired college professor, lives about two miles from the district’s eastern boundary, which runs along Highway 116 and Stony Point Road west of Cotati.
A parade of speakers on Saturday called for district elections in Santa Rosa, saying the concept is more democratic and would bridge the city’s economic and ethnic divide. About 130 people attended the three-hour meeting to consider possible changes to the city charter, including a switch from citywide voting for all seven council members to separate voting in seven districts.