Sonoma County Assistant Sheriff Eddie Engram appears to be right at about 50 percent approval to take the top job in the Sheriff’s Office, finishing ahead of his opponents Carl Tennenbaum and Dave Edmonds in Tuesday’s election, but Engram and Tennenbaum could head to a November runoff if Engram falls below the 50 percent mark.
Engram has just a few votes over the margin needed avoid the runoff, with his 26,282 votes counted as of late Tuesday night making up 50.002 percent of the total 52,561 votes counted thus far, according to the unofficial numbers on the county’s election website.
Engram’s campaign prioritized community impact such as reducing crime in all areas of the county, improving detention services, and strengthening transparency and trust, among others.
Current Sheriff Mark Essick has been sheriff since 2018 and part of the department since 1994.
During his campaign, Engram spoke about wanting to diversify the Sheriff’s Office.
“Especially members of our community who are marginalized, the BIPOC community, LGBT community, I think it is really important that we improve those relationships. And part of that is improving the diversity of the Sheriff’s Office,” Engram said during the 2022 Sonoma County Sheriff Candidate Forum.
Sonoma City Councilmember Madolyn Agrimonti said that she endorsed Engram because she was impressed with his long record with the Sheriff’s Office and referred to Sonoma being a small town that needs contact with the Sheriff’s Office.
“He listened to me,” stated Agrimonti.
There was a fourth candidate running, Kevin Burke, but he died in early April after withdrawing for health concerns. He would have been the first openly gay sheriff in the county. He appeared to have taken his own life, according to an investigation by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Burke still received 5,013 votes Tuesday.
Tennenbaum appears to have 26.99 percent approval. After Tuesday’s election, he hopes that the people of Sonoma County feel inspired and hopeful.
“The takeaway is they believe that I really am sincere and genuine, and I really operate from the heart,” Tennenbaum said.
Board of supervisors
Sonoma County voters also voted to re-elect two members of the county’s Board of Supervisors.
According to the unofficial election results, David Rabbitt was reelected as District 2 supervisor with 58.75 percent approval. In his campaign, Rabbitt spoke of the uncertainty and troubling times for Sonoma County caused by the 2019 Kincade Fire and the 2020 Walbridge Fire and the coronavirus pandemic.
He vows to continue to help the community and local economy recover from the pandemic as well as work to protect the local environment from climate change. Rabbitt has spent much of his time in office on road repair and improvement and said that will still be a priority, among other issues.
The results also appear to show that James Gore was reelected as District 4 supervisor with 75.38 percent approval. Similarly, Gore’s campaign focused on preparing for future wildfires and protecting the environment, citing the 2017 wildfire’s effect on the Sonoma County community.
He also spoke about public safety and health in the wake of the pandemic as well as economic prosperity. During his campaign, Gore committed to continuing to improve roads, increasing affordable housing, and more.
Superintendent of schools; Measure A
Amie Carter appears to have 44.53 percent approval for the County Superintendent of Schools, which does not avoid a November runoff as she falls below the 50 percent number. Her opponents Ron Meza Calloway and Brad Coscarelli have 21.94 percent approval and 33.53 percent approval, according to the unofficial election results.
In the only ballot measure voted on Tuesday around the county, Kenwood School District appears to have approved Measure A, which supports academic excellence for the district’s students.
The measure sought to renew the existing parcel tax for five years at the same rate of $52 annually, raising approximately $110,000. The ballot description says the measure is meant to “maintain quality STEM, art and music programs, continue to integrate modern technology into classrooms, and attract and retain high-quality teachers.”