Will This November Be The Culmination of Elk Grove's Migration From Red to Blue?
Written By EGN on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 | 06:00
By Dan Gougherty
When my family first moved to Elk Grove from Southern California in early 1993, the community we moved to was vastly different from where we came. In that almost 20 years Elk Grove has drastically changed - some changes are welcome and other not so.
There is one subtle change that has been underway over the last 20 years that has picked-up speed particularly since 2006. The Elk Grove of almost 20 years ago was still agriculturally-minded in many ways and was politically a very strong Republican area.
While much of our state and congressional representation was obviously dependent on other geographic areas, our local elected officials, though technically non-partisan where fairly well dominated by Republicans.
Going back to 2000 with our first city council, there were four Republicans, Dan Briggs, Mike Leary, Sophia Scherman and Rick Soares with one Democrat, Jim Cooper.
Reflecting the rapidly expanding and increasingly diverse population, the first significant break-through for area Democrats was in 2006 with Gary Davis' defeat of incumbent Elk Grove Council Member Dan Briggs. Since then two Democrats have been elected to the Cosumnes Community Services District and the city been represented by two Democratic Assembly Members over the last four years.
But this November will be the big test of how strong the Democratic Party will really be in Elk Grove.
First there is Dr. Ami Bera's strong challenge to incumbent Republican Congressman Dan Lungren in a newly drawn and more urban Congressional District. Democratic Assembly Member Dr. Richard Pan will face Tony Amador in a race that shows a slight edge for Pan.
Even the normally quiet races for the Elk Grove School Board has drawn attention with three Democratic candidates running on an informal slate.
And of course there is the mayoral race with the well-financed sophisticated campaign of Elk Grove Council Member Gary Davis. As the presumed front runner, should Davis be elected, current Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Nancy Chaires has been named by Assembly Member Roger Dickinson as a possible successor to the the vacancy created by Davis ascension to mayor.
Should that sequence of events occur as outlined by Dickinson, the Elk Grove City Council will have shifted from a Republican to Democratic majority.
While it is unlikely that the Democrats will sweep all the local elections, they do have a good chance to build on the gains that were started six years ago with Davis' election and be Elk Grove's majority party.
But as what once was written, do party labels matter in local afairs?
Posted by EGN at 06:00