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PD Editorial: Jim Wood and Bill Dodd for Assembly

Among the many local races and ballot measures to be decided on Nov. 4, North Coast voters will be choosing a slew of new state legislators for the region.

In two of these contests, we recommend Jim Wood in the 2nd Assembly District and Bill Dodd in the 4th Assembly District.

Wood, a dentist by profession, clearly would represent the region well, having been a resident of Sonoma County for 27 years and having served four years on the Healdsburg Planning Commission and eight years on the City Council. That includes two rotations as Healdsburg mayor.

Wood, a Democrat, has shown himself to be a discerning elected official with an ability to work with individuals from variety of political viewpoints. During the course of this campaign, he also has shown himself to be a true student of the expansive 2nd Assembly District, which stretches from Santa Rosa west to the coast and north to the Oregon border. Despite the scope of this district, which includes all or parts of five counties, Wood has visited its many corners and speaks well about the issues that confront the region.

On the technological side, he wants to see an expansion of broadband Internet service and increased use of telemedicine at remote clinics. He also believes the region must have a central role in finding a statewide solution to the environmental degradation and water loss associated with illegal marijuana crops. “We not only need to be at the table, we need to be at the head of the table,” Wood said.

Wood’s opponent is Matt Heath, a Republican who lives in Santa Rosa where he runs a small company that sells high grade meats and fish. Heath, whose campaign tagline is “Legalize Freedom,” is right when he talks about the state Legislature needing to do more in the area of pension reform and helping cities confront their unfunded liabilities. But given his lack of experience as an elected official - save for a brief stint as a trustee in a rural school district - he has not demonstrated that he is better prepared to serve in Sacramento.

The 4th District is also diverse, encompassing all of Lake and Napa counties and 75 percent of Yolo County, as well as part of Sonoma County that includes Rohnert Park and unincorporated areas of Sonoma Valley.

A member of the Napa Board of Supervisors for the past 14 years, Dodd also has shown himself to be someone who can work with diverse interests to produce results, from the restoration of wetlands on the Napa River to widening Highway 12 through Jameson Canyon. He has the right focus, wanting to preserve the state’s two most precious resources: water and education. His work on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Local Agency Formation Commission of Napa County and the Napa County Flood Control district will serve him well in Sacramento.

His opponent is Republican Charlie Schaupp, a Marine Corps veteran and farmer in Yolo County. Schaupp is a man of strong principles who has served the country with honor and speaks well about the need to improve legislators’ ethics. There’s no arguing with that. But the district also needs someone who has the experience and the political support to get things done and help move the state and the North Coast in a better direction. We believe Dodd is that person.

The Press Democrat recommends Jim Wood in the 2nd Assrmbly District and Bill Dodd in the 4th Assembly District.

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