Sonoma County Democrats have made an endorsement in the upcoming county sheriff election. The organization has endorsed former Healdsburg police chief Kevin Burke in the now four way race set for June.
Attorney John Kelly is with the Sonoma County Democrats. He said Burke greatly impressed the group's endorsement committee. "Kevin Burke, from the beginning of his interview had the entire room listening with rapt attention to every thing he said. As the chair of our party said, 'Kevin had her at hello.' He identified repeatedly, places in the Democratic Party platform that were concurrent with his values, he gave concrete examples of how he implemented those. He walked through the history of the sheriff office's role, some of the issues that it's faced, and he displayed a comprehensive knowledge and a sensitivity to the facts of each circumstance, that is, that close connection between what was happening on the ground, the ability to empower officers to protect both the community and themselves and in the long run to allow the community to trust that when they deal with a sworn officer, that they are able to count on them embodying the values that we hope that our sheriff's office and indeed often it does embody."
Kelly said the Sonoma County Democrats considered only Burke and candidate Carl Tenenbaum, a retired San Francisco police sergeant, as they are the only two registered Democrats in the race.
Burke and Tenenbaum will face Assistant Sheriff Eddie Engram and retired Sheriff's Captain Dave Edmonds in a June 7 primary to replace Sheriff Mark Essick. Essick is not seeking reelection. If no candidate receives more than half of the votes, the top two finishers will face off in November.
The filing period doesn't close until March, meaning additional candidates could yet emerge.
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