Two Campaign Events,
Two Distinct Candidates

Elk Grove mayoral candidate Lynn Wheat (center) with supporters noted retired Elk Grove educators  Marielle Tsukamoto (left) and Pamela ...

Elk Grove mayoral candidate Lynn Wheat (center) with supporters noted retired Elk Grove educators Marielle Tsukamoto (left) and Pamela Baker.  

Davis holds boisterous, convention-like event affair; Wheat seeks direct contact, talks issues

UPDATED - Clarification of Quote
Elk Grove mayoral candidates Gary Davis and Lynn Wheat both held campaign events Saturday morning. Aside from being scheduled within an hour of each other, the respective events highlighted each of their distinctive campaign methods and philosophies.

For Davis, a second-term Elk Grove City Council Member who formally announced his intentions last fall, Saturday's event could be best characterized as a political convention. In keeping with political conventions, not only where there balloons and other trappings, there were long time elected officials on hand to rev-up the crowd, up-and-comers seeking exposure and the candidate who gathered at Davis' campaign office on Laguna Blvd in the same strip center as Leatherby's Creamery.

In this case the long time pols on hand were Democrats Assemblyman Roger Dickinson and SMUD board member Genevieve Shiroma. The up-and-comers included Steve Ly, who is running for the Elk Grove Unified School District Board and Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Nancy Chaires, who will seek appointment to Davis' council seat should he win the mayoral race. Also in attendance were city council member Steve Detrick, planning commissioner George Murphey and congressional candidate Dr. Ami Bera.

After introducing Ly, Davis also spoke of elevating Chaires to the Elk Grove City Council should he be elected mayor and has to relinquish his council seat. "She is waiting to be in the full spotlight of the city council," he said of Chaires. 
[The above quote was attributed to Gary Davis but should have been attributed to Roger Dickinson. EGN apologizes for the error.]
In a speech void of specifics and designed to fire-up his base, Davis said his focus if elected mayor would be to strengthen neighborhoods, attract jobs and make Elk Grove a destination city. "We will run a strong, positive, clean, focused issued campaign," Davis told his supporters.

Davis' supports responded with a loud "Gary, Gary, Gary" chant.

While Davis' event had the earmarks of a big time political affair, Wheat's event, which was held at the Starbucks on Bruceville Road and Whitelock Parkway, attracted more than a dozen people who came to hear the candidate's platform. Wheat, who has decided against taking any contributions, is focusing on local campaign finance reform and controlling growth in the city.

Typcial of her supporters at the event was retired Elk Grove educator Marielle Tsukamoto. A well known, respected and longtime Elk Grove resident, Tsukamoto said she has known Wheat from her volunteer activity when her children were in Feickert Elementary School and has contacted many people in the community urging them to support her.

One of the people at the event as a result of Tsukamoto's outreach was retired Elk Grove teacher Pamela Martin. After listening to Wheat's issues regarding campaign finance and controlling growth, Martin said she liked what she heard.

Adding that she is upset with city council leadership the last few years, when Martin was asked if she would vote for Wheat, without hesitation said "I sure am."

Another person who happened upon the event while getting his morning coffee was Bobby Garrett of Elk Grove who said he liked Wheat's explanation of how the city's planned expansion through the sphere of influence (SOI) could further hurt beleaguered homeowners, particularly those who are underwater. Garrett said he is concerned that his neighborhood's safety and quality would be hurt if the city continues to allow more houses to be built.

"It [Wheat's explanation of the SOI] resonates with me," Garrett said.

During her talk, Wheat said that she is in favor of controlling growth and adhering to the city's general plan, which she noted has been amended over 25 times resulting in "piecemeal planning." Along with controlling growth and reforming campaign finance, Wheat said she is employing an alternate campaign strategy using social media and lots of one-on-one campaigning.

"I am calling it the good gossip," she said. "There are many opportunities we can use to spread the message that this city needs change."

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Different Strokes said...

While I understand the angle here by the press, Gary Davis, even with his success, continues to be very humble, and says as much, that he is honored that so many people have come together to support him.

Additionally, anyone who knows Gary knows he wouldn't make that statement that has since been corrected.

All of the candidates will have their own styles. The press will continue to make comparisons, and we can only hope the voters will judge each on their own merits and track record of success.

Debbie said...

Strokes, I can agree each candidate has their own style. I think the point here is not Mr. Davis' humility, rather it is the company he keeps.

Mr. Davis is a nice person who anyone would like to have as a next door neighbor. Niceness or humility of the candidates is not what elections are about.

One must question where all this money is coming from that supports his (and the other council members for that matter) campaign efforts and what are the motivations of these contributors? Are they donating money out of a sense of civic pride or are these contributors looking for something else?

It is a fair question to ask of every politician from the Presidential candidates on down the ballot to the Mayor of Elk Grove - and they should answer to it as well. Just who are our politicians beholden to - citizens or contributors?

Thanks for the civil dialogue by the way.

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