Sonoma County will elect a new sheriff-coroner this year. It's unclear at this point if there will be a run-off in November between two of the primary election candidates. Tuesday's race was between current assistant sheriff Eddie Engram, former Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy Dave Edmonds, and retired San Francisco police officer Carl Tennenbaum.
A sizable crowd of supporters for Engram filled the Old Possum Brewing Company in Santa Rosa Tuesday night.
Engram, who has the support of outgoing Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick, discussed where results stood just before 9 PM.
"I think that I am a well positioned to get the 50% plus one to avoid the runoff." Engram said.
As for the campaign itself, Engram said it's been one of his most rewarding experiences.
"I don't know if I tell everyone to, to go ahead and run for office, but, I I've really learned a lot about myself and I have really been able to, to get back and forth, east, west, north, south, throughout the county and meet a lot of really good people." Engram said.
The campaign was marked with controversy. Engram was accused of campaign violations relating to use of his uniform. The former director of the county’s independent police watchdog agency accused the Sheriff’s Office of using Engram, who is black, as cover to maintain the status quo within the department. And two of Engram’s campaign signs were vandalized with racially-inflammatory messages.
Engram believed those incidents don’t represent the views of the majority of county residents though.
"It was unfortunate with the signs, but those are the acts of individuals." Engram said. "And throughout my time of living here in Sonoma county in the past 20 years, I, I really haven't felt those issues on a daily basis. It's a great county. I, I live here, my kids live here. I really wanna do what I, what I can to support it. And the campaign couldn't be more well received than it has been."