This article appeared in the January 6, 2016 issue of the West Sacramento News-Ledger (external link). It appears here until their website features the piece.
All Politics are Local: West Sacramento’s Role in Coming Elections
by Thomas Farley: firstname.lastname@example.org
California’s primary and general elections are six months and eleven months away, respectively, but political parties are busy preparing for these upcoming votes. The News-Ledger reports on three parties’ arrangements and how West Sacramento may be impacted.
Robin Olson, Director of Communications for the Yolo GOP, commented on the effects a potential Republican administration may have on West Sacramento. Olson says that “Republicans generally champion free trade, which would increase activity and jobs at the Port of West Sacramento. Democrats have become a little more reluctant with free trade recently, moving away from the days of Bill Clinton signing NAFTA 20 years ago. A rich agricultural region like Yolo County also is going to be selling a lot of crops abroad, either directly or indirectly. Again, more demand and more jobs.”
Olson says, however, that Republican presidential campaign activities may largely bypass our area. “Unfortunately, since California has a late June primary, the candidates have very limited operations in Yolo County. They know that with the way the system works, there are many states with earlier contests that must be a priority — like Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, and so on. Mostly candidates come by on occasion to fundraise, like Marco Rubio did in early December. But, if the primary is still undecided around March, then activists will definitely become much more organized.”
Bob Schelen, Chair of the Yolo County Democratic Party, weighs in on the role of West Sacramento from their local and organizational viewpoint. “Every four years, the Yolo County Democratic Party has its members elected from Supervisorial districts with others being appointed by elected officials. For 2016, we are well represented in West Sacramento with ten of our members residing in the City. That is just under one-third of our full membership. Members from West Sacramento include City Council member Mark Mark Johannessen, School Board Member Norma Alcala and long time activist and City Commissioner Martha Guerrerro, among others.”
“West Sacramento always plays an important role as part of developing a winning strategy in Yolo County. It is important for us to work to get out as much of the Democratic vote as possible in Yolo County. It is difficult to say what a Clinton or Sanders Administration will mean to West Sacramento, Yolo County and the greater Sacramento region as we have fared well under the Obama Administration.”
Debra Reiger, State Chair of the Peace and Freedom Party of California, says they will run a candidate for President. “Our nominating convention will be in August, so I don’t know at this time who our nominee will be. We have had quite a few inquiries from potential candidates, and so far have one serious candidate, Gloria La Riva, who will definitely appear on our primary ballot and at the convention.” Reiger notes they have seven seats available for a county central committee in Yolo, and some current activists, mainly in the Woodland area. They expect an active county central committee by early summer.
The News-Ledger will report on the activities of the Libertarian, Green, and American Independent Party at a future date.