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Endorsement: The race for County Clerk

Rod Marusic has 10 years under his belt at the CRA and says the department’s most important responsibilities are to ensure accurate elections while protecting voter data; conducting fair and accurate valuations of properties; and efficiently serving public requests for public records.

He highlights his 20 years in the private sector – as a business owner, inventor, real-estate agent and manager of a “large retail operation” – as giving him the free-market skills needed “to bring some of the private sector views to the public office without sacrifice of service to the public.”

Marusic, 53, describes himself as “a taxpayer advocate” and wants to help property owners “pay their fair share of taxes and no more.”

This year’s CRA race has no “outsider” candidates – and with this office that can be a good thing. The job requirements cross so many civic functions, the learning curve would seem almost insurmountable for a candidate without a deep well of experience in its trenches. Sonoma voters are fortunate to have three candidates as qualified as these.

The June 5 election is a “top-two” primary in which, if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote getters will face each other in a November runoff election. We anticipate a runoff.

Leonard and Proto have the range of experience across all levels of the CRA and registrar offices to keep the ship steady as it sails into a future of county fire recovery needs and ambitious voting and registration initiatives. We see big challenges ahead for the departments everyone in Sonoma County depends upon – even if they don’t know it.

We recommend Ray Leonard and Deva Marie Proto.

– Jason Walsh, editor

– John Burns, publisher