Rohnert Park residents early Wednesday were leaning toward re-electing a longtime incumbent and adding a veteran planning commissioner to its City Council.
With 15 of 15 precincts and early mail-in ballots counted, Mayor Pam Stafford, who is seeking her fourth term, led all candidates with 32.2 percent of the vote. Two members of the Planning Commission were vying for the second open seat. Insurance company director Susan Hollingsworth Adams held 26.7 percent, followed by restaurateur Gerard Giudice with 23.6 percent. Nonprofit founder Jackie Elward trailed with 17.3 percent.
“I feel excited about the direction the numbers are going,” said Hollingsworth Adams. “I’m really excited that people in Rohnert Park are going give me this opportunity to serve on the city council for the next four years.”
Stafford, who endorsed Hollingsworth Adams during the campaign, offered praise for her likely newest fellow council member.
“She’s going to be great, and work well with the council,” said Stafford. “She already knows the city staff, so that’s a plus.”
In the lead up to the election, all four candidates said they recognized Sonoma County’s third-largest city is at a turning point. Each identified the most pressing issues facing Rohnert Park being constructing a centralized downtown, managing the city’s growing homeless population and building enough housing to prevent the city’s 42,000 residents from being priced out.
Through October, Giudice, who is part owner of Sally Tomatoes restaurant, far outspent the rest of the field combined. He reported more than $42,400 in contributions and expenditures of $39,700, compared to $11,250 raised and $9,840 spent by Hollingsworth Adams. Stafford, an aerobics instructor, raised $7,145 and spent $6,615 and Elward raised $2,450.
You can reach Staff Writer Kevin Fixler at 707-521-5336 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @kfixler.