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2nd Santa Rosa council hopeful drops out of race

  • Shaan Vandenburg. (PD File)

A second candidate has dropped out of the race for Santa Rosa City Council, leaving seven vying for four open seats.

Shaan Vandenburg, a 47-year-old asphalt plant operator, had campaigned to bring blue-collar values back to city politics.

The married father of two school-age children had spoken of the need to bridge the ideological divide on the council and to make the city more welcoming to business.

But on Wednesday, two days after a halting performance in a candidates' forum, Vandenburg announced he was dropping out.

"I really feel that I'm not in the position that I need to be to win," Vandenburg said.

He said he works from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every workday, then picks his kids up from school, leaving him just a few hours a day to walk precincts and meet voters.

"I never imagined the impact a campaign can have on one's family and employment — because my time has been limited to the people I care about, it has been difficult for me to commit the time needed to run a successful campaign," Vandenburg wrote in a statement.

Though he's been opposed to district elections, Vandenburg agreed they would make it easier for someone like him to run for public office.

"Having the opportunity to knock on every door would be a good thing," he said.

Mike Cook, a landscape architect and father of two young daughters, dropped out of the race two weeks ago after his campaign failed to gain traction.

Both men's names will remain on the Nov. 6 ballot, which will continue to list nine candidates.

Vandenburg's departure leaves four men and three women actively seeking the four seats up for grabs on the seven-member council.

They are Mayor Ernesto Olivares, Councilman Gary Wysocky, social worker Caroline Bañuelos, attorney Erin Carlstrom, neighborhood activist Julie Combs, wine industry executive Hans Dippel and restaurant owner Don Taylor.

(You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @citybeater)

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