Will Davis and Hume Be Unopposed in Reelection Bids?

UPDATED 12:00 Noon, March 20 What about Cooper’s races against Jones? With the general election a little less than eight month from now...

UPDATED 12:00 Noon, March 20

What about Cooper’s races against Jones?

With the general election a little less than eight month from now and the filing period for all non-incumbent candidates is August 6, the clock is clicking for challengers to officially state their intention to run against incumbent Elk Grove City Council members Gary Davis and Pat Hume.

The only person to officially file papers indicating a run against Hume is David Cano who filed a Campaign Intention Statement last July. Aside from some inflammatory remarks (see video here) he made during a 2008 city council meeting, little has been heard from Cano.

A review of the city clerk page on the city’s website as off today shows just one possible candidate against Davis and that person is Vernon Billy. Billy filed papers when Davis was seeking the Democratic nomination to run for congress which Davis has since dropped out of. It is believed Billy has no intention of running against Davis.

So with time quickly vanishing, will Davis and Hume face serious challengers? In our analysis, that picture will become clearer after the April 14 city council meeting on Davis’ proposal to drop the Cosumnes River Floodplain from the city’s sphere of influence (SOI) application.

Over the last several weeks, Davis has stated that the inclusion of the floodplain has become a distraction to the city’s primary goals of creating jobs and ensuring public safety and should therefore be dropped. Aside from large landowners on Grantline Road outside of Elk Grove city limits, Davis’s position has been well received.

Hume, who has advocated for the large Gantline Road property owners desire to keep the floodplain in the application, has been the recipient of negative comments. There seems to be a growing perception to those following the matters that Hume is suffering from strong-negative perception.

Should the city council decide to exclude the floodplain area from the application, the heat being generated from the issue could cool down considerably. The Wilton Action Group for one said they would be fine with this and that could help enhance Hume’s image problems.

For Hume, the whole process is filled with peril. If the floodplain is excluded, it will be viewed as a political failure. What politician wants to ask for cash from his core supporters after he failed in a policy that was near and dear to these same type of contributors? Conversely, what contributor is willing to spend money on politician who has failed them?

On the other hand, if the floodplain is included in the SOI application, the issue will only heat up and will become a major campaign issue against Hume should a strong, well-funded candidate emerge. A strong candidate would be able to raise a sufficient amount of money to knock out an incumbent.

Further, the unidienfitied candidate could easily paint Hume as a waterboy for the wealthy Grantline property owners and other out-of-town realty devlopers. Add to this the general distrust that has been expresed about the SOI process and the City of Elk Grove, Hume will become some politcal cartoonist posterboy for insider-cronyism dealings.

Either way, the floodplain could be were Hume's political career is sunk.

For Davis there too are some potential pitfalls. While Davis has popular support for calling for the exclusion of the floodplain, what if he fails to get the motion passed? Or worse, not even considered for a vote before the city council?

Davis may suffer a short tem set back, but he will have shown the willingness to take a tough stand that runs contrary to his fellow council members. Davis could easily say he was representing the voices of Elk Grove citizens.

Needless to say, removal of the floodplain from the SOI application would be a huge win for Davis and crushing defeat for Hume.

Cooper wildcard

There is one more wild card to consider and that is Elk Grove Council member Jim Cooper’s run for sheriff.

If Cooper is elected during the June primary, the soonest he can take office is Jan 3, 2011. However if Cooper resigns from the council upon winning the sheriffs race, his seat could be vacated in time for other candidates to be qualified for the November election.

While all city council members are officially non-partisan, Davis is a Democrat and Cooper seems to have Democrat leanings. In the last several months there have been whispers that several local Republicans would love to take Cooper’s seat when and if he leaves and have eyes on taking out Davis.

If Cooper does win his election and leaves early, there could be some hotly contested races on the west side. This of course would aid Hume.

While the April 14 city council meeting will not be the final word, it should provide some guidance to Elk Grove’s political scene for the months leading up to the November elections.

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Elk Grove Politics said...

Davis relates to the every day citizen whereas Hume only represents the "old guard" protecting his interests and their's. One just has to listen to him at council meetings. Hume consistently talks down to people.

Hume must be a one term council member and that is all there is to it. "Patrick Hume for Change." Not the change most had in mine and luckily WE found it out now!


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