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Engram maintains fundraising edge over opponents in Sonoma County sheriff race

As the June 7 election approaches, Assistant Sheriff Eddie Engram continues to hold a major fundraising lead over two rivals in the race for Sonoma County sheriff.

Engram has garnered $92,709 in monetary contributions this year, according to most recent campaign finance reports submitted to the county. Altogether, he has taken in $182,798 since declaring his candidacy in September 2021, putting a gap of more than $100,000 between him and his two opponents, Carl Tennenbaum and Dave Edmonds.

Engram, who has been endorsed by Sheriff Mark Essick, as well as both unions representing sworn Sheriff’s Office personnel and other influential interest groups, also led the field in the number of contributions. Between Jan. 1 and April 23, the end of the latest reporting period, he received 213 campaign donations.

Tennenbaum, a former San Francisco police sergeant who has drawn support from progressive political camps, raised $41,009 from 119 contributions during the 2022 period. He more than doubled his 2021 haul of $18,494.

Edmonds, a retired captain with 32 years at the Sheriff’s Office, raised $27,307 this year from about 44 contributions, records show. Edmonds was the first to declare his candidacy in the race last year, when he raised $47,848.

Campaign finance records for the three candidates highlight the differences in their donor bases and key endorsements.

Engram, the favorite of law enforcement groups, boasts a substantial number of contributions from members of the Sheriff’s Office and public safety personnel in general, as well as business owners and government officials.

Tennenbaum, who has been endorsed by the Sonoma County Democratic Party, environmental groups and the county’s largest labor union, SEIU Local 1021, raised much of his funds from individuals, including retirees, lawyers and teachers. Few of his 119 donors were members of law enforcement.

Edmonds, whose endorsements include Supervisor Susan Gorin and Windsor Town Councilmember Debora Fudge, has no current law enforcement officers among his latest contributors, records show. A little over half his 44 contributions were from individuals sending $100 or less.

Spending by the three campaigns has ramped up in the past four months, records show.

Engram has spent $74,000 so far this year, nearly twice the amount he spent in 2021, with more than $30,000 going to campaign consulting and the bulk of the rest going to office and campaign materials.

Tennenbaum spent over $21,000 in 2021 and about $46,000 in 2022. This year’s expenses included over $15,000 to his political consultant, Dennis Rosatti of Sebastopol, as well as events, posters and other materials.

Edmonds spent $27,000 in 2021 and $42,000 in 2022. His filing shows among his largest expenses were $16,000 on campaign signs, followed by payments to his campaign consultant, Dan Mullen of Petaluma, totaling $9,000 since January. His expenditures also reflect a number of coffee meetings and events.

Mail ballots are set to go out to registered voters on May 9. If no candidate in the race receives more than 50% of the vote June 7, the two top vote-getters will proceed to a November runoff.

Members of the public can hear from each of the three candidates at a virtual forum hosted by the Sonoma County League of Women Voters, La Luz Center and Sonoma Immigrant Services on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. Join the forum here.

You can reach Staff Writer Emily Wilder at 707-521-5337 or emily.wilder@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @vv1lder.

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