Curious mailer for Elk Grove voters from SCOE incumbent, candidate Heather Davis

The County Office of Education is one of those obscure agencies that have a presence in every California county. The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) is the Sacramento County educational entity that provides supplemental services to school districts and, of greater significance, plays a crucial role in determining if a charter school can operate within a school district.

The board member representing Elk Grove has been Heather Davis. First elected to the SCOE board in 2016, Ms. Davis is seeking her third term as the Area 6 representative. 

This year, Davis is challenged by Shazleen Khan for the non-partisan position. The winner of the March primary will win a four-year term.

To that end, Elk Grove voters received a mailer from Davis this week. As with many candidates, Davis' mailer features her children. 

What was unusual was not her children's presence but her well-known husband's absence. Ms. Davis' husband is former Elk Grove Mayor and City Councilmember Gary Davis.

While he held office for 10 years, Mr. Davis regularly featured his wife, Heather, and their children in his political advertising. Mr. Davis even had one campaign mailer for former political ally, former Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly, that featured Heather and Ly's wife. 

It is not unusual for candidates to feature only their children, even if they are married. California Assemblymember Stephanie Nguyen has featured her children in her campaign literature while omitting images of her spouse.  

Nguyen's literature, however, generally includes information about her husband when talking about family. Given that Nguyen's husband is a member of the Elk Grove Police Department, his employment status could be why he is omitted.  

Throughout his political career, Gary Davis included his spouse and children in his campaign literature. Davis sought to portray his as the All-American family, including one mailer with the entire family dressed in white.

Ms. Davis may simply be trying to establish her identity free of her husband. Nonetheless, given Mr. Davis' propensity to include his entire family in campaign mailers throughout his political career, his absence is conspicuous.    

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