Be it from the media, labor or business organizations, will endorsements matter in Elk Grove 2020 elections?

Kevin Spease (at the head of table, center) meets with the political action committee of Region Business. | 
Yesterday the political action committee of the Sacramento-based economic development advocacy group Region Business held a series of endorsement interviews. Among the several endorsements issued was for Elk Grove City Council District 3 seat.

Although he has not formally announced it, indications are that Steve Detrick, the three-term incumbent for the District 3 seat, will not seek reelection. Announced candidates for the seat include Kevin Spease, who ran for Elk Grove Mayor is 2016, and Maureen Craft, who also ran in 2016 against Detrick.

Even though candidates covet endorsements, do they matter? In short, they only matter in one instance.

As Elk Grove voters will recall, several candidates have won high profile endorsements from media and various labor and business groups only to lose where it matters the most - at the ballot box. Endorsements from recent Elk Grove elections validate this.

In his 2018 challenge to incumbent Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly, Elk Grove Councilmember Darren Suen was endorsed by Region Business, The Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce, the Elk Grove Police Officers Association, and the Sacramento Bee. Also, an independent expenditure committee spent about $100,000 in attack mailers on Ly and a former staff member.

Alas, Ly, who was endorsed by the Sacramento Bee in 2016 for mayor but lost it in his reelection bid, overcame those endorsements deficits and easily beat Suen and Tracie Stafford.

Similarly, in 2016 Spease was endorsed by the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce and the Elk Grove Police organization, and a host of recognizable names of community members, but succumbed to Ly. It should be noted Spease ran his campaign for almost all of 2016, while Ly entered the race only after then-Mayor Gary Davis dropped out in July of 2016.

So while endorsements are helpful, when it comes to generating votes, there is not that strong of a link, especially when running against an incumbent, correlating them to electoral victory. But in the race for the open District 3 seat in 2020, endorsements could be a crucial factor for the donor class.

Put another way, while an endorsement from Region Business is unlikely to influence voters, it could help generate donations from the major players in Elk Grove politics. Today, Spease got a financial shot in the arm when Region Business gave him an automatic endorsement in his race against Craft.

With his endorsement from Region Business, Spease received a seal of approval to the donor class in Elk Grove. That means he could receive briefcases of cash from companies like Schetter Electric, Pappas Development, and AKT Development, among several, all of whom are players in Elk Grove politics.

So while the endorsement from Regional Business' PAC has limited appeal to voters, it could give Spease access to something of greater value to a campaign organization to get to those voters - cash. 

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2019. All right reserved.

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Eye on Elk Grove said...

Let it be noted that Region Business did not give Maureen Craft even the courtesy of an interview.

Josie said...

My vote is not based on his endorsements, but on his actions while serving on the Elk Grove Planning Commission. Do date I have found those to be light, nonsensical and clumsy, but of little substance.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

This scene reminds me of the poster of the dogs sitting asround a card table playing poker. But in this case, it is checks being passed around under the table instead of cards, and in this case, everyone wins!

Randy Bekker said...

I am sure Maureen will get the Local Democratic Party all the Democratic Progressive clubs, NAACP, Latino groups, AFL-CIO, and the others that Kevin will not have a chance or an invite. I agree with Josie, my vote is not based off endorsements! Candidates need to stay focused on their vision, what they have done for the community an city of Elk Grove and do I align with them more than their opponents.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Randy, my point is that Region Business should be nonpartisan. Many groups are not. Using your analogy, is the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce PAC going to give Maureen Craft a interview? Lynn Wheat? Is the local Republican Club?

But then again, I am not surprised. In looking at the picture, I don’t see any people of color except Josh Wood. I see maybe two women, and all of the rest are. . .you guessed it, white males.

Does this Board represent the demographics in Elk Grove and, in turn, know what's best for Elk Grove?

Josh Wood is a great guy, very smart and a bright future ahead. I have no quarrel with him; just RB's process.

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