SN&R’s endorsements for the 2014 June primary election

Our editorial board recommends these candidates

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Note: SN&R does not endorse in uncontested races.

There'll be a new electoral system in place on June 3. This doesn't mean buff security guards in front of polling places asking for birth certificates and Costco cards. It means that now, in statewide races, the top two vote getters will move on to the finals in November, regardless of party affiliation.

Will this change anything? Perhaps not. Or maybe a lot more races will be Democrat vs. Democrat in November (since Republicans are too busy worrying about concealed weapons and Islamic law).

SN&R’s editorial board recommends that you vote for the following candidates on June 3:


Jerry Brown

Lieutenant governor

Gavin Newsom

Secretary of state

Derek Cressman or Alex Padilla

These two candidates, the former a progressive and the latter a Democrat, should square off in November.


John A. Pérez or Betty T. Yee

We hope Assembly speaker Pérez and Board of Equalization member Yee, both Democrats, face off this fall.


John Chiang

Attorney general

Kamala D. Harris

Insurance commissioner

Dave Jones

Board of Equalization, District 1

Chris Parker

U.S. representative, District 3

John Garamendi

U.S. representative, District 4

Jeffrey D. Gerlach

U.S. representative, District 6

Doris Matsui

U.S. representative, District 7

Ami Bera

It’s imperative to re-elect Ami Bera and keep this congressional seat Democrat. Bera in Congress should be one of the national party’s top priorities.

U.S. representative, District 9

Jerry McNerney

State Senate, District 6

Roger Dickinson

Current Assembly member and former county supervisor Dickinson is a longstanding progressive voice in the community. Recently, he fought at the statehouse for more transparency when it comes to the dangerous—and potentially explosive—Bakken crude-oil train shipments that pass through our central city and neighborhoods each day. Dickinson stands up to monied interests and has represented the neighborhoods for nearly 40 years. He’s earned your vote for state senator.

State Assembly, District 7

Kevin McCarty

SN&R doesn’t want to see Councilman McCarty leave City Hall, where he is needed to keep the mayor’s “strong” majority in check. But we nevertheless support him as District 7’s next assembly member: He will fight for the environment and question corporate interests.

State Assembly, District 9

Darrell Fong and Diana Rodriguez-Suruki

Councilman Fong has also been a crucial voice at City Hall, asking tough questions about the arena when others have bowed to political pressures. City school board trustee Rodriguez-Suruki’s fight against school closures was critical, too, as were her efforts to increase transparency in the school district. We endorse these candidates and hope to see them compete in the fall.

State superintendent of public instruction

Tom Torlakson

We like some of candidate Marshall Tuck’s ideas and understand the urgency for solutions in the world of education. But we also worry that his charter-schools vision will incite war instead of revolution. What California needs is gradual, smart, progressive education reform. We hope that Torlakson will bring that in his next term.

Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, District 2

Patrick Kennedy

The election of Kennedy will hopefully tip the scales at the board of supervisors. We want a new era of leadership at the county, with a left-leaning coalition of Kennedy, Phil Serna (who will be re-elected in an uncontested race) and Don Nottoli.

Sacramento County district attorney

Maggy Krell and Todd Leras

We support Krell as a leading voice for change when it comes to how the region deals with low-level, nonviolent and first-time offenders. She believes in preventative treatment and rehabilitation. Ditto Leras, whose diverse experience and progressive-liberal values are an asset. Both Krell and Leras are strong candidates for reform at the DA’s office.

Sacramento City Council, District 3

Jeff Harris

Harris stands out among the seven council candidates in this region. He’s a proven neighborhood leader who will have taxpayers’ backs. We like the way he thinks about issues, such as the new arena, which he does not lend support because it puts the city’s general fund at too much risk. We also like that he rolls his sleeves up in the community, such as his advocacy for neighborhood parks and his work rebuilding the McKinley Park playground. He will make a formidable city councilman.

Sacramento City Council, District 5

Jay Schenirer

Schenirer has stepped up and led during tough economic times. He is respected by his colleagues and supported by the community. Yes, we agree with his opponent Ali Coopers’ call for greater transparency in government. And we also would like to see more checks-and-balances to the mayor’s agenda, that which Schenirer does not often provide (see the councilman’s pro-arena and pro-big-box store votes). But removing this incumbent from the dais is not a solution. He has been crucial in leading the city, from pension negotiations to homelessness solutions, and we support his re-election.

Sacramento City Council, District 7

Julius Cherry

Former fire chief and planning-commission chairman Cherry is Sacramento’s opportunity to elect a voice who will challenge the Kevin Johnson status quo. We like his opponent Rick Jennings, but fear the nonprofit executive and former school-board member’s connections to the mayor’s office will equate to a rubber stamp. There are also reasons alone to elect Cherry, such as his impressive understanding of the city’s fiscal house and knowledge of budgets, which will be needed in the coming years. His top-level leadership experience is something that the council lacks, too; his election will be an asset to City Hall.

Proposition 41


Voting yes here allows for $600 million to be spent statewide on affordable and transitional housing for homeless Californians.

Proposition 42


Transparent and open governments aren’t always popular in Sacramento with politicians, but they should be. Prop. 42 ensures that governments follow public-access laws. It also puts the burden of doing so onto local governments. Let’s just hope Sacramento doesn’t kick this cost down to its residents.

Measure B


SN&R supports the $12-a-year parcel tax dedicated solely for city libraries.