CAMPAIGNING Assembly District 2 front-runner Chris Rogers in a Healdsburg neighborhood on Feb. 24, reaching out to potential voters. Latest totals show he will be the Democratic candidate for the seat in the General Election. (Photo by Christian Kallen)

Santa Rosa City Councilman pulls ahead of Arcata’s Rusty Hicks but many votes to be counted

The latest results from the March 5 primary election, which should include all absentee ballots mailed on or before election day itself, have been released by the California Secretary of State, as of Wednesday afternoon, March 13.

It’s still almost a month away to the final date for official certification, but fewer races are undecided than they were at first.

Among them: Chris Rogers has increased his lead, both by vote totals and percentages, over Rusty Hicks. The latest totals show 19,892 have cast their vote for Rogers, or 21.1%, and Hicks has received 16,850 votes or 17.9%.

But the Hicks campaign is unwilling to give up, pointing out that about 37,000 votes remain to be counted, many in the northern part of the state — Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties — where the Arcata resident should be strongest.

They have a point. In Humboldt, Hicks’ “home county,” he draws 29% of the vote to Rogers’ 5.1%. Second highest vote-getter is Frankie Myers, the Yurok tribal vice chair.

CANDIDATE Healdsburg City Council member Ariel Kelley announcing her candidacy for the 2nd Assembly District, the North Coast.

Healdsburg’s former mayor Ariel Kelley holds firm in third place overall, with 13,988 votes or 14.8%. On Friday, March 15, she released a statement saying, “The North Coast has spoken. It is clear from the last batch of results that Chris Rogers will serve as our next Assemblymember. I have no doubt that he’ll fight tooth-and-nail for our district in the Assembly.”

The results are skewed somewhat in that all candidates for the office, of both parties, include in the totals. So Michael Greer, the sole Republican in the race, is the factual leader with 29,975 votes or 27.5%.

But voter enrollment in the North Coast Assembly District 2 is overwhelmingly Democratic over Republican, reducing Greer’s chances in November.

One thing is for certain: Among the Democratic candidates, it’s still too soon to call.

State and County

Another crowded field of Democrats vied in the race for U.S. Senate, with a single prominent Republican, Steve Garvey, across the ballot.

Although Garvey had an early lead in vote total, that has slipped away as Adam Schiff now has a narrow 32% to 31.9% lead, with just 2,500 votes separating them. Regardless of who “wins” this primary, the top two candidates – probably one Republican and one Democrat – will be on the General Election ballot in November.

Gov. Gavin Newsom in Oakland on Aug. 11, 2021. 

In other races, State Proposition 1, heavily promoted by Gov. Newsom in the final weeks of the election season, appears headed for passage by a narrow majority. The proposition authorizes almost $6.4 billion for mental health, substance abuse and homeless treatment and servicers.

With over 6,420,000 votes cast, 51% are in favor of the proposition, and 49.9% opposed. Only 10,000 votes separate them.

Measure H, which would impose a half-cent sales tax on Sonoma County purchases, passed with 62% in favor and 38% opposed.

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Christian Kallen has called Healdsburg home for over 30 years. A former travel writer and web producer, he has worked with Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and other media companies, usually in an editorial capacity. He started reporting locally in 2008, moving from Patch to the Sonoma Index-Tribune to the Kenwood Press before joining the Healdsburg Tribune in 2022.


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