Here’s what we know about the November election: Unlike Tuesday’s Primary, the turnout will be HUGE as voters rush to cast ballots for the next president of the United States.
And local budget woes will be center stage because later this summer the governor and the state Legislature will unload the state’s chronic budget problems on to cities and counties.
This means six candidates in the runoffs for three seats on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will face a very different landscape and a very different electorate, and now they have to figure out what that means for their prospects. They also have to figure out the math of getting 50 percent plus one of the votes cast. On Tuesday, all but one candidate qualified for the next round with less than 34 percent of the vote cast.
In the First District, Valerie Brown, 62, would rather be preparing to become the 2009 president of the National Association of Counties, but now she has to think about gathering enough votes against Will Pier, 64, to secure her re-election.
In the Third District, Shirlee Zane, 48, and Sharon Wright, 64, face what could be a bruising contest. On both sides, the faithful are spoiling for a fight that could become nasty.
In the Fifth District, Efren Carrillo, 27, and Rue Furch, 62, arrive at this moment from very different places. Carrillo could become the first Latino to serve on the Board of Supervisors. Furch is supported by west county environmentalists.
No one can miss the age difference between Carrillo and everyone else. In the 1970s, Sonoma County elected two members of the Board of Supervisors who were under 30 years old. It was the beginning of the transition to a new generation of leaders. Now that generation is older, and Carrillo hopes to be part of the next transition.
Six candidates woke up this morning to the reality that the new campaign begins today, and they’ve got five more months of work ahead of them.