Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Susan Gorin confirmed Friday that she is running for the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors seat to be vacated by Valerie Brown, a move that will pit her against a rival city politician and play up a long-standing geopolitical divide in the county, observers said.
Gorin, 59, announced her decision Thursday night in Petaluma at a quarterly gathering of Sonoma County mayors and city council members.
She had shared her plans with some in attendance and felt it was the right time to clear the air about her intentions, she said.
"I didn't want to duck the question. I felt like I really needed to let people know that I'm moving forward," she said Friday.
The decision carries immediate personal implications for Gorin. By mid-February she will have to move into the county's 1st District from her Fountaingrove home, which rests just outside the current boundaries.
Other candidates have said the move will be an issue in the campaign. But Gorin brushed off those suggestions, saying the challenges facing county government — she discussed rising retirement costs and cuts to public services — and her experience in public leadership posts would be more important to voters.
She said county election officials have assured her that her current residence does not prevent her from campaigning or raising funds.
"People are looking at my experience and my ability to represent the Sonoma Valley," she said. "I wouldn't be making this decision if I hadn't talked with people in the district."
Gorin has served almost five years on the Santa Rosa council, including two years as mayor from 2008 to 2010. She was re-elected last year as the top vote-getter in the race but was ousted from the majority in a shakeup that her critics cast as a rebuke of her leadership.
Her current council term expires in 2014.