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PD Editorial: Endorsements for California's primary election 2016

Here are our recommendations for Tuesday's primary election.

SONOMA COUNTY

Supervisor, 1st District - Susan Gorin

As a former mayor and school board member in Santa Rosa, Gorin brought a deep understanding of the western portion of the 1st District to the board. In the 3½ years since taking office, she has educated herself about the eastern half, developing connections and mastering subjects important to Sonoma Valley residents.

Supervisor, 5th District - Lynda Hopkins

The Stanford-educated Lynda Hopkins, an organic farmer and resident of Forestville, presents the best opportunity to move past the acrimonious political battles of yesteryear toward new and creative ways of addressing the needs of this west county district. Her chief opponent is former legislator Noreen Evans, who did more harm than good in helping local governments work through their financial challenges due to enhanced pensions. Voters have little reason to expect anything different if she wins a seat as a supervisor. It's time for a fresh perspective.

Measure A: Bodega Bay Fire Protection District budget - Yes

This isn't a tax increase. It isn't a new tax or an extension of an existing one, either. This simply affirms that the fire district can continue to spend the money that it's already authorized to collect.

Measure AA: San Francisco baylands restoration - Yes

This $12-per-parcel annual tax, which requires the approval of two-thirds of voters, would raise $500 million over 20 years. Half would be distributed to Bay Area counties based on population. The other half would be given out through competitive grants. The North Bay stands to benefit significantly as restoration projects here have already been identified and public-private partnerships are in place to make them happen.

FEDERAL

U.S. Congress, 2nd District - Jared Huffman

Democrat Jared Huffman's expertise on water and fisheries, shaped as chairman of the state Assembly's water committee and as a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, is a natural fit for the district, which stretches from the Golden Gate to the Oregon border.

U.S. Congress, 5th District - Mike Thompson

Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, is a key player on tax policy, gun safety and natural resources. He also is a strong advocate for the wine industry, a cornerstone of the region's economy, and has carefully tended to constituents during his 18 years in Congress.

CALIFORNIA

Senate, 3rd District - Bill Dodd

As an Assemblyman, Bill Dodd, D-Napa, the former Napa County supervisor, has been a leader on a number of fronts, from providing relief for victims of the Valley fire to protecting water rights and farm lands. He also has been a strong advocate of education funding. He deserves support in his move to the state Senate.

Assembly, 4th District - Dan Wolk, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry

A member of the Davis City Council since 2011 and a deputy county counsel for Solano County where he specializes in water issues and finance, Democrat Dan Wolk has been an advocate of creating affordable housing and has helped lead Davis toward the creation of a Sonoma Clean Power-like community choice aggregation plan. Winters Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, a Democrat and part-owner of an 80-acre walnut orchard, is a voice of compassion for the rural residents of this vast district. She successfully lobbied PG&E to open a $75 million training facility in her community and has been a advocate for broadening education and housing opportunities. Both deserve to make the “top two” for this Democratic-leaning district.

Assembly, 10th District - Marc Levine

Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, continues to be a voice of common sense in the Legislature whether authoring a bill that allows craft distilleries to sell their wares on premise as wineries do to being the lone voice of dissent against legislation that pretends putting down bets on online fantasy sports is really not gambling. It is.

Proposition 50: No pay for suspended legislators - Yes

In 2014, three suspended lawmakers collected their $95,000 salaries and their benefits. They were barred from their duties, and their constituents were left without representation in the state Senate, yet California taxpayers had to foot the bill for their salaries and fringe benefits because the state constitution doesn't authorize suspensions of legislators without pay.

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