If you're looking for a way to tell blue from red this November among candidates for local, non-partisan offices, the first key to party preferences came in a list of endorsements issued this week.
The Sonoma County Democratic Party threw its support behind more than 20 candidates in races for local office and announced the party's stance on some local ballot measures.
Among the local races, the top-of-the-ballot endorsement — for the 1st District county supervisor's seat — went to Santa Rosa Councilwoman Susan Gorin. She is facing off against rival Santa Rosa councilmember John Sawyer in a closely watched contest for the seat held by retiring Supervisor Valerie Brown.
The endorsement means Gorin's campaign will get $1,000 from the party, be able to use the party logo in her mailers and posters and be able to take advantage of canvassing and logistical support from the party headquarters in Santa Rosa.
The same support extends to those endorsed in city government races, though party contributions to their campaigns top out at $100.
The party reported endorsements in six cities, excluding Rohnert Park, Windsor and Petaluma. Democratic officials said they expect to make endorsements for the Petaluma City Council later this month, after completion of candidate interviews. Races in Rohnert Park and Windsor were uncontested, so the cities canceled those elections.
For Santa Rosa City Council, the party backed incumbent Gary Wysocky and newcomers Caroline Banuelos, Erin Carlstrom and Julie Combs.
In Cotati, endorsements went to incumbents John Dell'Osso and Susan Harvey and challenger Wendy Skillman.
In Sebastopol, the party endorsed Councilwoman Kathleen Schaffer and Robert Jacob, a medical marijuana dispensary operator making his first bid for elected office.
In Sonoma, the party backed Councilwoman Laurie Gallian and candidate Madolyn Agrimonti. In Healdsburg it endorsed Councilman Tom Chambers and in Cloverdale it backed Mary Ann Brigham, a former councilwoman.