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Bernie Sanders carries Sonoma County in final results, earning symbolic win over Hillary Clinton

With all the votes finally counted, it turns out Sonoma County is Bernie Sanders country after all.

The Brooklyn-born Vermont senator overtook Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president, in official results released Wednesday by the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office.

The results - with 52 percent of the local vote for Sanders compared to 47 percent for Clinton - handed Sanders a late and largely symbolic local win, erasing the 54 percent to 45 percent advantage Clinton had on election night, when she claimed a historic victory as the first female candidate to secure a place atop the presidential ticket for a major party.

The turnaround, fueled by late returns in vote-by-mail ballots, reflected Sanders' strength in fundraising and grassroots organization in Sonoma County, where he far outpaced Clinton in campaign donations.

“No surprise there at all,” said David McCuan, a Sonoma State University political scientist who had predicted before the election that the county would go for Sanders. “We always stand out and one can ‘Feel the Bern' throughout the county.”

Just three days before the June 6 election, Sanders drew 6,000 enthusiastic North Coast supporters to a Cloverdale rally, where he repeated his call for a political revolution to transform American government, the economy and civil society.

Clinton, nevertheless, prevailed in the California primary and in the nationwide race to secure delegates for the Democratic nomination.

Sanders has since said he will support Clinton but has not officially conceded the nomination, with the party's national convention less than three weeks away.

The county's final primary results skewed but did not alter outcomes in other electoral contests.

Donald Trump dominated the Republican primary with 67 percent of the county vote, with John Kasich second at 18 percent and Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Jim Gilmore in single digits.

In the 4th Assembly District race, Sonoma County voters favored Democrat Cecilia Aguiar-Curry with 34 percent of the vote and gave Democrat Dan Wolk a razor-thin edge over Republican Charlie Schaupp.

But throughout the district, Aguiar-Curry, the mayor of Winters, and Schaupp, a retired Marine officer, were the top two vote-getters, eliminating Wolk from the runoff. Aguiar-Curry had 28.7 percent and Schaupp had 28.4 percent.

Sonoma County voters were on the losing end of a vote by nine Bay Area counties to authorize a $12 per year parcel tax for wetlands restoration. Measure AA, which needed a two-thirds vote to pass, got 70 percent overall but fell short in Sonoma with 64 percent.

The measure also lost in Contra Costa, Napa and Solano counties, but prevailed overall with winning margins in Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Alameda counties.

The final results reported Wednesday in Sonoma County included mail-in ballots that were either postmarked or brought to polling places on election day.

On Tuesday, the county accounted for the majority of 70,455 ballots that state officials said remained uncounted, the Los Angeles Times reported. The state's largest counties had finished tallying ballots prior to the July 4 holiday, the paper said.

Sonoma County officials Wednesday reported a 64.9 percent turnout by the county's 254,104 registered voters, which would be the fifth highest mark among California's 58 counties, according to the Secretary of State's report, which had not accounted Wednesday for final Sonoma County results.

Statewide, turnout for the primary was 47.4 percent.

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @guykovner.

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