Waiting on Cooper - Candidacy announcement for Sacramento County Sheriff could lead to cascade of candidates

California Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove) has led advocacy for crime victims
since his 2014 election. | 

UPDATED 12 p.m. | 

The 2022 elections and candidates for Sacramento County Sheriff, Sacramento County District 5 Supervisor, and California's 9th Assembly District already have strong ties to Elk Grove, and they could expand in the coming months.

Even before long-serving Supervisor Don Nottoli announced that he would not seek an eight-term, two Elk Grove-based candidates, former Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis and Cosumnes Community Services District Director Jaclyn Moreno, announced their candidacies. Now that Nottoli had made his decision, other candidates will undoubtedly enter the race.

Another Sacramento County race that will have a cascade effect will be for Sacramento County Sheriff. With Sheriff Scott Jones' decision not to seek a fourth term, Sacramento County Sheriff Capt. Jim Barnes, a 22-year department, announced his candidacy yesterday.

The focus will now shift to 9th District California Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove), who has already formed an exploratory committee for Sacramento County Sheriff. Even though Cooper has two more terms of eligibility after his 2014 election to the California Assembly and has been easily re-elected since then, he has long wanted to be sheriff, especially after serving in the department for 30 years and being defeated for the office in 2010 by Jones.

Cooper did not respond to a request to comment for a Sacramento Bee story yesterday on Barnes' announcement. Nonetheless, now that there is at least one candidate for the Sheriff, it would not be surprising for Cooper to formally announce his candidacy within weeks if not days from now.

When Cooper makes his decision and runs for Sheriff, you can expect a cascade of announcements. With a footprint in Sacramento and San Joaquin counties, several people are expected to run for the 9th Assembly seat.

In Elk Grove alone, there are at least three Democratic candidates who are said to be exploring a run. One prospective candidate reportedly has the support of the state Democratic party mechanism and from State Senator Richard Pan, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, and Cooper. 

One wild card for the 9th Assembly seat will be the decennial redistricting, which will happen in 2022. While the 5th Supervisorial District will be redrawn if only at the margins, Elk Grove is likely to stay within the district.

As for the 9th Assembly District, the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission has convened and is awaiting census results to start their task of drawing Congressional, Assembly, and State Senate districts. Although no timeline is available for current redistricting, the 2010 commission completed their work in August 2011. (See related story by Dan Walters on redistricting delays). 

While the 2010 commission seemed to keep medium-sized cities like Elk Grove and smaller municipalities within one Assembly and Senatorial District, districts encompassing Elk Grove could be reoriented. Currently, the 9th Assembly District includes a portion of Sacramento city, unincorporated Sacramento and San Joaquin counties, and the entire communities of Elk Grove, Galt, and Lodi. 

Could the 9th Assembly District be drawn to take on more of Sacramento city and drop the southern portions in Galt and Lodi?  If so, candidates from the City of Sacramento would suddenly become eligible to run for the position.

Regardless of how maps are drawn for the Senate, Assembly, and Supervisorial districts, you can expect the races for these seats and the Sheriff's to be flavored with Elk Grove candidates, and Cooper's potential Sheriff's candidacy is the keystone for other candidates.    

Update - Link added to the story from Dan Walters of Calmatters.org on redistricting delays. 

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