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Candidates Vie for 2 Sonoma County Supervisor Seats in June 3 Election

David Rabbitt. Courtesy of Facebook.
David Rabbitt. Courtesy of Facebook.
There are two supervisorial races in Sonoma County in the June 3 primary election.

Current Board Chair, David Rabbitt, faces a challenge from organic farmer and businessman John King in District 2, which includes Petaluma, Cotati, a portion of Rohnert Park and Penngrove.

Rabbitt, 53, an architect, is running for re-election on his experience and accomplishments on the board during his first term. He cites his and the board's efforts to reduce pensions by $170 million over the next 10 years and the doubling of spending in one year to improve the poor condition of the county's roads.

Rabbitt also says he has protected the environment and water resources, opened more regional parks and expanded healthcare access to county residents. He lists the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Sonoma County Alliance, Santa Rosa Firefighters Association, teachers, seniors and working families as his supporters.

King, 57, a fourth-generation farmer and organic silage producer, says he has experience as an auditor in public accounting and is a former loan officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

King has been active in water management issues in the county and has been critical of unexplained pension spending. He opposes groundwater exports, protecting property rights and is against sending more water to Marin County.

In another race, there are five candidates running for the 4th District seat now held by Supervisor Mike McGuire, who is running for the state Senate.

District 4 encompasses northwest Santa Rosa, Windsor, Healdsburg, Geyserville and Cloverdale.

Five-term Windsor Councilwoman Deb Fudge, 58, says the race comes down to experience, and she has witnessed the transformation of Windsor from an exit on U.S. Highway 101 to "a town with heart."

Fudge says she has helped protect open space, make Sonoma County a leader in solar power and energy efficiency and helped farmers and vineyards get water they need.

Fudge has served on the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District's board of directors since 2005.

As a supervisor she says she will work to expand and retain existing businesses, repave roads, and promote economic development and tourism. If elected, she will be the third woman on the five-member board.

Former Healdsburg Mayor and business owner Pete Foppiano claims a decade of experience as a local elected official.

He says his priorities are fixing roads and infrastructure and preserving the county's open space and agricultural land. Foppiano said he would be an independent voice for county residents and judge issues on their merit and what is best for the community.

Foppiano also said he wants SMART passenger train service to be extended to Cloverdale and get freight service running as soon as possible.

Small business owner James Gore, 61, a Sonoma County native, served as Assistant Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service in the Obama administration.

He says his election will provide a fresh perspective on a host of issues involving water shortages and droughts, wasteful government spending, public schools, senior programs and road infrastructure.

At his former job in the federal government, Gore said he has led agriculture and conservation efforts nationally and locally.

Keith Rhinehart, 61, a retired United Parcel Service manager and substitute teacher, says too many special interests get the board of supervisors' attention at the expense of citizens.

He says the board allows arbitrary fee increases, passes unnecessary ordinances and gives government jobs to private corporations that take their profits elsewhere.

Rhinehart said his priorities are improving public transit, reducing government waste and addressing immigration concerns.

Ken Churchill, 60, a retired entrepreneur, has been a critic of the county's pension obligation debt. He says he never intended to run for office but he cannot stand by and watch the county's roads decay and other essential services suffer because of pensions that are unaffordable to taxpayers.

Churchill said he founded New Sonoma, an organization committed to finding solutions for the county's fiscal crisis and creating a government that benefits taxpayers instead of interest groups.

He said he and his wife created one of the Bay Area's largest environmental firms specializing in asbestos management and remediation.

If none of the five candidates get a majority of the vote, the top two voter-getters will run in November.

--Bay City News
Jacques May 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Would have been nice to include photos of both supervisor candidates and their web sites. To even the score, here is John King's web site http://www.electjohnking.com
Susan C. Schena May 21, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Oh, no! Maybe something is not working! I have photos of ALL 7 candidates posted here. And links to all their web sites. For Mr. King, it is linked to his Facebook candidate page. The link is in the second paragraph -- on his name. Please let me know if these are not showing up on the site.
Jacques May 21, 2014 at 11:53 AM
You are correct, however if a viewer does not see the ribbon under the large photo of Mr Rabbitt, you would miss it, as I did. As far as your links are concerned, Mr King has website that is much more informative and more current than Facebook. BTW, why not a large photo of Mr King next to his opponent? Wouldn't that be a better balance?
Susan C. Schena May 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM
Well, thank goodness it's working, as I sat up until nearly midnight downloading all the photos and linking all candidates' sites. As for the side-by-side idea, it's not the format I have available to me for posting. So I ran the pix in order of the names in the story. Would have done it your way if I could. :(
Keith Rhinehart May 21, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Nice read, Susan, Thank you!

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