Elk Grove city council races: Analysis, projections and opinion, district three

Detrick, Leary matchup piques local interest The race for the district three seat has certainly been the most spirited of the three district...

Detrick, Leary matchup piques local interest

The race for the district three seat has certainly been the most spirited of the three district seats up for election this cycle. The race pits embattled incumbent Mike Leary against Steve Detrick and Greg Higley.

While Leary faces two opponents on the ballot, in reality he faces only one serious challenger in Detrick. If the race is close, Higley could end playing the role of spoiler and king maker.

Analysis and projections

In analyzing this race, it is probably best to look at each candidate. We'll start with incumbent Mike Leary.

A two-term city council member, Leary is facing strong headwinds in his reelection bid - almost all of which were brought on by his own actions. Leary has cultivated a reputation as a pawn for real estate interests and within the community, he has at best what appears to be a surly reputation.

Leary's cozy ties with real estate interests are well documented. This summer for example, Leary took large cash donations from Bay Area developer Reynolds & Brown who then received a multi-million tax-payer subsidy approved by the city council.

A review of Leary's campaign disclosure forms show his donations coming almost exclusively from attorneys and real estate developers. In fact in his most recent disclosure reports, Leary received only one donation from an individual in Elk Grove.

Then there is the little problem of The Sacramento County Grand Jury report. Like his fellow council member who was criticized, Jim Cooper, Leary was cited for numerous conflict of interest violations.

While Cooper seems to have learned from the experience, Leary seems happily unrepentant, even defiant of the rule of law.

Let's not forget Leary's wild campaign claim that he helped create 10,000 new jobs in Elk Grove. This unsubstantiated claim, lie as some might say, cuts to the core of who Leary is - a politician willing to do anything, including fabricating stories to win office.

Leary's primary challenge comes from Steve Detrick.

Detrick made a name for himself when he successfully spear-headed the effort to keep a Super Wal-Mart from being built on Sheldon Rd. in Elk Grove. Since announcing his candidacy earlier this year, Detrick has vigorously campaigned to unseat Leary.

Detrick is running on a platform to reduce street crime and restore integrity to this particular seat on the city council. Detrick has been able to garner several high profile endorsements from his own efforts, his positions on crime prevention as well as Leary's many missteps.

The wild card in this race is Greg Higley. Although Higley has done very little campaigning outside of placing some signs around town, his presence on the ballot could steal enough votes from either candidate.

In the final analysis, we predict that even though Leary has been on the local political scene for over 18 years and has high name recognition, those same 18 years and his surly behavior have given voters in Elk Grove a case of Leary fatigue. Detrick should win this race by a close margin.

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Anonymous said...

One thing I agree with you on is Greg Higley taking away enough votes from either Leary or Detrick. Detrick was leading until he turns negative on his mailer. I heard voters who were Detrick supporters decided to cast for Leary just because of his negative attacks on Leary. Also, Detrick is in bed with powerful labor unions making him a DEMOCRAT even though he is registered Republican. There is not too much change if Detrick is pushing unions’ agenda. Either unions or developers, both are special interest groups. Leary is as guilt as Detrick when it comes to taking money from special interest groups. Unlike Detrick, at least Leary is a straight shooter and does not have to hide his true agenda. With respect to Higley to the two viable candidates, Leary is the devil we know and Detrick is the devil we do not know. When a candidate has to result in dirty politics and follow the playbooks of unions, Detrick has lost his independent minded thinking and now became the robo candidate for the unions. Leary is Leary. He is in it for himself. At least we all know that. But for Detrick, we hear he is running for us, but is he? Mayor Gary Davis supports for Detrick and Sophia hoping to boost their candidacy. However, Mayor Gary Davis action is to guarantee support and future bid for his assembly race and candidacy ambition. Not sure what Detrick and Sophia are promising Gary Davis so that he turns against his fellow councilman Leary and District 5 challenger, Katherine Maestas who was Gary Davis' former campaign manager. Is Detrick and Sophia promising to vote in support of the current Mayor? Troubling sign of unfair and unethical council practices. This is another reason why voters will not vote in Detrick, because they do not want to lose city hall to three council members who made a pact together. There is new sign of trouble for Elk Grove emerging. Voters will vote for the devil they know to keep Democracy at work on the council. This is why I think you are wrong in District 3 race. Let’s see how you do with District 5.

EGN said...

Thanks for your thoughtful contribution and observation. You obviously are well steeped in local politics. Most people in Elk Grove are not. That can favor Leary based on name recognition alone.

Thanks again.

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