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Former Rohnert Park councilman Smith to challenge Zane for supervisor seat

  • 9/19/2009:B7: Tim Smith
    5/20/2009:B7: Tim Smith
    9/26/2008: B4 and B6: Tim Smith
    PC: Rohnert Park councilman Tim Smith. September 18, 2008. The Press Democrat / Jeff Kan Lee

Shirlee Zane will have a challenger after all in her bid for re-election to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

Former Rohnert Park Councilman Tim Smith launched a bid Wednesday to unseat Zane in the June election, which means that all three supervisorial seats up for grabs will have contested races.

Smith, 57, ran unsuccessfully for the 3rd District supervisor's seat in 2008, placing third in a June primary, behind former Santa Rosa Councilwoman Sharon Wright and Zane, who went on to claim the seat in November.

An attorney specializing in business and estate planning, Smith served a single four-year term on the Rohnert Park council, including a year as mayor. He was ousted in the November 2008 election, when control of the council shifted to a business-oriented majority.

The 3rd District seat, which represents most of central Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park, was held for 20 years by Supervisor Tim Smith, no relation to the former Rohnert Park councilman.

Up until now, Zane, a former Council on Aging chief executive officer and the current board chairwoman, had been unopposed in her re-election bid.

Smith said he was jumping into the race partly to make sure the seat didn't go uncontested.

"The chance of serving and having an improved supervisor in the seat if nobody runs against the incumbent is nil," he said. "I think democracy deserves debate."

Smith on Wednesday pulled nominating papers and paid a $1,340 filing fee to enter the race, which has a filing deadline of March 9.

He also discontinued a blog, California Commons, that he has written on The Press Democrat's website since 2009.

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