John Sawyer enters supervisor's race
Santa Rosa City Councilmember John Sawyer has announced his candidacy for the 1st District seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors currently held by Valerie Brown.
Brown has announced she will retire at the end of her current term in 2012.
Sawyer is the longtime owner of Sawyer's News, a beloved Santa Rosa literary landmark that carried myriad magazines and newspapers available nowhere else in Sonoma County, as well as books and greeting cards. The store succumbed to market changes and competition and closed its doors in April 2010.
Sawyer has served for seven years on the Santa Rosa council, with terms as both mayor and vice mayor of the city.
He currently serves on the executive committee of the City/County Solid Waste Advisory Group, as a Sonoma County Airport Land Use Commissioner and as alternate on the Sonoma County Transit Authority.
Sawyer said he is running for the Board of Supervisors, "because, as a lifelong resident of Sonoma County, I am devoted to this community and to enhancing our commitment to a healthy environment, a strong General Plan, livable neighborhoods and, in these days of high unemployment and dire economic conditions, I want to do all I can to revitalize our local economy and spur job creation."
Redistricting and the 2010 census have reshaped the 1st Supervisorial District to encompass more of southeastern Santa Rosa. But despite his Santa Rosa roots, Sawyer has won support from some Valley leaders, including third-generation Sonoma Valley dairy farmer and grape grower Ray Mulas. Former sheriff and Valley resident Bill Cogbill is a co-chair of Sawyer's campaign committee.
In a press release statement, Sawyer vowed to "work with agriculture, small businesses, the tourism sectors and local community leaders to forge a new path toward a vibrant local economy while preserving the small town character of our wonderful county. The City of Sonoma and the Sonoma Valley are gems known worldwide for their beauty and hospitality and I am pleased to see the strength of support that I have received from key individuals from this part of the District thus far."
The 1st District now encompasses parts of Santa Rosa (including a slice of Fountaingrove, Bennett Valley, Rincon Valley (where Sawyer lives) and Oakmont, along with Kenwood, Glen Ellen, the Springs communities, Sonoma, Schellville and Vineburg.
Formal candidate papers have also been filed by Mark Bramfitt and Gina Cuclis. Both Will Pier, who came close to unseating Brown in 2008, and Susan Gorin - another Santa Rosa City Councilmember - have indicated their intentions to run, as well, but neither had filed formal papers at press time. State Sen. Noreen Evans has also fueled speculation she might run, but by the end of September she said she had no current plans for a race but had not ruled it out.
The primary election is scheduled for June 2012 and if no candidate has a majority of the votes, the top two vote getters will enter a run-off that November.