Sawyer Takes District 1 By a Hair, Faces Gorin in Runoff

Cuclis finished with 17.1%; Sonoma Mayor Joanne Sanders won 16.1% of vote


At just after 8 p.m. when the polls closed, early returns were showing Huffman in first place out of 12 candidates with 37 percent, followed by Republican Dave Roberts and Democrats Norman Solomon and Stacey Lawson, according to the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters website.

Six candidates ran for retiring Supervisor Valerie Brown's 1st District seat, four of them from the Sonoma Valley area, which includes Sonoma, Kenwood, Glen Ellen and smaller communities. The district also includes the Bennett Valley, Oakmont and Fountaingrove areas of Santa Rosa.

Tuesday's top two candidates, Santa Rosa City Council members Susan Gorin and John Sawyer, will run against each other in November. Both received 23 percent of the vote.

The race is proceeding to a November runoff because no candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the vote.

The four candidates from Sonoma Valley -- Gina Cuclis, Sonoma Mayor Joanne Sanders, Mark Bramfitt, and Michael McClure -- cumulatively received 53 percent of the vote. Cuclis was third with 17 percent, Sanders had 16 percent and Bramfitt received 14 percent, according to unofficial results.

The 1st District seat has traditionally gone to a Sonoma Valley resident. Brown, a former state Assembly member, has held the seat since August 2002 and she endorsed Bramfitt.

Sawyer said the results show he has support of voters in the Sonoma Valley, not just those in the district who live in Santa Rosa.

"It shows a willingness on their part to endorse a candidate from the west part of the district and a trust that they can be represented by someone in the west district," Sawyer said.

Gorin said she and Sawyer have obvious differences in attitudes and voting records, and she is anxious to talk to voters in the district before the November runoff election.

"There was a decided attitude in the Sonoma Valley that they preferred someone there to represent them. I'm sensitive to that," Gorin said.

She said there will have to be a precinct-by-precinct analysis to determine which candidates won the votes in the Sonoma Valley and Santa Rosa areas of the district.

"It's not all cut-and-dry which candidates took which precincts," she said.

A victory by either Gorin or Sawyer in November will mean three of the five seats on the Board of Supervisors are held by Santa Rosa-based candidates.

County Supervisor 1st District

(All precincts reporting)

Vote Count Percentage John Sawyer 5,266 24.5% Susan Gorin 5,180 23.1% Gina Cuclis 3,834 17.1% Joanne Sanders 3,619 16.1% Mark Bramfitt 3,190 14.2% Michael McClure 1,280 5.7% Write-in candidate(s) 32 0.2%

This article is by Bay City News and Alexis Fitts

Dee Baucher June 06, 2012 at 07:32 PM
The four Sonoma Valley candidates should have known they were going to split the vote, and they should have united with a single option, so that we could have an actual representative on the county board. Now we will be unrepresented totally. One of the two remaining candidates is a carpet bagger who doesn't even represent anyone in the district.
Rena B June 07, 2012 at 01:41 AM
I agree Dee. It is a shame that the Sonoma vote was split.
Kenwood Guy June 07, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Your chart is wrong. It has Gorin having more votes, though the percentage is right. Oops. Sanders mucked everything up by entering so late. I wonder why....
Alexis Fitts June 07, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Thanks for the comment and correction. (It was late; typo.) It's been corrected in the article.
Debra C. June 07, 2012 at 04:12 PM
You're right Kenwood Guy! We had 2 candidates from the Valley in the race competing against two Santa Rosa candidates. Then at the last minute, two more (Sanders & McClure) decide to run. Cuclis would have easily been in the run-off if those two hadn't sucked away crucial votes from the valley. Thanks to them we have no option for REAL representation!


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