The Sonoma County Democratic Party (SCDP) announced its endorsements of candidates in local races on Sept. 23. According to the group, the endorsements are the culmination of a two-month, rules-driven process, designed to treat everyone equally, from an incumbent to a first-time candidate for office.
"Endorsing candidates and ballot measures is one of the most important things the Sonoma County Democratic Party does in an election year," said Sonoma County Democratic Party Chair Pat Sabo.
Members of the SCDP’s Central Committee and Democratic Clubs form interviewing committees, which represent each of the five districts in the county. These committees, checking frequently with the Office of Voter Registration for new candidates, formally invite each Democratic candidate to fill out an application for SCDP endorsement.
For two weeks, committee chairs conduct interviews, and then submit recommendations at one of SCDP’s monthly, public meetings, where these candidates are discussed and debated. Candidates must receive a two-thirds majority vote to gain endorsement.
For the Cloverdale city council race, the SCDP has endorsed incumbent Melanie Bagby and newcomer Jenny Candelaria-Orr. In the school district race, only newcomer Gabriela Mendoza-Torres gained endorsement.
In the Healdsburg city council race, the SCDP has endorsed Ariel Kelly and Skylaer Palacios. The school district race is uncontested. Healdsburg school employee and former union head Ever Flores gained an endorsement in his Santa Rosa City School Board race.
In Windsor, holding district elections for the first time, incumbent Debora Fudge gained endorsement for her District 3 race. In the mayor race, none of the four candidates received and endorsement.
The endorsement for the race for the Area 1 seat of the Sonoma County Board of Education goes to Cloverdale’s Dianna MacDonald.
In the west county, the SCDP endorsed two candidates for Sebastopol City Council, incumbent Neysa Hinton and newcomer Evert Fernandez.