In Cooper’s run for Sheriff, Every Vote Will Matter

Will Elk Grove’s SOI, Wilton voters weigh in Cooper’s political calculus? For the first time in over a dozen years, the race for Sacr...

Will Elk Grove’s SOI, Wilton voters weigh in Cooper’s political calculus?

For the first time in over a dozen years, the race for Sacramento County Sheriff will be completive and may not be decided until November.

Facing off in the June primary will be Elk Grove City Council member and Deputy Sheriff Jim Cooper, Deputy Sherriff Scott Jones and the Harold Stassen of Sacramento County sheriffs races, Brett Daniels.

Going back to 1998, all the sheriffs races have been decided by wide margins in the primary negating the November run-off. This year it will be different as there will be two heavy weights with Daniels playing the role of a potential spoiler.

Undoubtedly Cooper and Jones would like an outright win in June to avoid what would be a nasty campaign. Both career law enforcement officials would like to keep all their skeletons in the closet.

For some perspective, in the 2002 June sheriffs election there were 199,000 votes cast and 183,000 in 2006. In both case the incumbent or anointed-one ran against the under-funded Daniels.

The results were predictable with incumbent Lou Blanas capturing 82% of the vote in 2002 and McGinness winning 75% in 2006.

You don’t have to be Tim Russert with a chalk board to lay out the possible mathematical permeations of what could happen. The worse case scenario for Cooper and Jones would be Daniels takes a large enough share to give neither a straight-up majority.

With this in mind, every vote for both candidates will matter. For Cooper there lies opportunity – or peril depending on what happens at the April 14 Elk Grove City Council meeting.

It will be at that meeting where the city council will discuss the possibility of removing the Cosumnes River floodplain from the city’s sphere of influence (SOI) application. While the issue has little significance outside portions of Elk Grove or the rest of Sacramento County, it does have great significance in the Southeastern Sacramento community of Wilton.

The people of Wilton are well organized and vocal in their opposition of having the floodplain included in the SOI. They have consistently appeared at public meeting in large numbers and have made their position on the matter clear in no uncertain terms.

The April 14 city council meeting will certainly attract a large delegation of Wiltonites who will be watching Cooper with a close eye as he is widely perceived to be the swing vote needed to remove the floodplain from the application.

Whatever position he takes will have ramifications. If he votes to remove the floodplain, several Elk Grove constituents and Wilton voters will probably be more inclined to vote for him in the June primary. A vote to support for inclusion of the floodplain in the SOI could cost him several thousand votes.

According to Sacramento County Assistant to the Registrar of Voters Alice Jarboe, during the 2008 general election there were 13 voting precincts 4,259 registered voters in those Wilton precincts.

In three way race with two strong contenders and one wild card, those few thousand voters out in Wilton could mean an outright victory for Cooper in November or a five month campaign filled with mud slinging not seen in a race for sheriff in recent history.

If Cooper thinks a few hundred votes don’t matter, just remember Al Gore.

Post a Comment Default Comments

1 comment

Bruno said...

God help us if Cooper wins.

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast