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Carrillo keeps Sonoma County Board of Supervisors seat

  • Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo thanks Sebastopol Mayor Guy Wilson for his support as he campaigns in downtown Sebastopol on Tuesday, June 5, 2012.

Incumbent Efren Carrillo held on to his seat in the 5th District Board of Supervisors race, avoiding a runoff election by taking a final 59 percent of the vote.

Carrillo had a commanding lead from the start over his challengers and held it throughout the long, slow count late into the night.

Former supervisor Ernie Carpenter came in second place, with 28 percent. The third candidate in the race, former Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Veronica Jacobi, received 13 percent.

Election 2012 Sonoma County

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"I am humbled and excited to continue working on the issues facing the county," Carrillo said late Tuesday.

As precincts started coming in, Carpenter's tally began increasing only slightly.

"That's a good trend but it may not be good enough," said Carpenter.

The candidate who receives 50 percent of the vote, plus one, takes the race. If no candidate had crossed that threshold, the top two vote-getters would have faced off in November.

The vast 5th District, which runs from the west side of Santa Rosa to the coast and up to the Mendocino County line, has long been considered a haven for environmentally-conscious voters. Carpenter represented the district from 1980 to 1996.

But Carrillo, who finished first in an eight-candidate primary at age 27 in 2008, has worked tirelessly for the last 3 1/2 years reaching out to voters in the district. During that time, Carrillo has been able to shore up his base, claiming many voters who did not support him in 2008, including Latino and labor groups.

Carrillo's fundraising machine dwarfed all others in county races, an advantage that allowed him to deliver his message to voters' mailboxes, phones, roadways and radio waves. Carrillo has raised more than $103,000 since mid-March, including late contributions.


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