Although there are so many open offices in the June 7 election, the Chico News & Review is offering few endorsements. That’s because this is a primary with many two-person races as well as those with clear front-runners for nominees that won’t really become contests until the general election, when the top-two vote-getters meet again. (See “Primary primer” for more on the field.) Additionally, most candidates for county offices are running unopposed, so unless there’s a surprise push for a write-in, those races are all but decided.
We urge voters to do their own homework, beginning with the official Voter Information Guide. The Butte County League of Women Voters has candidate forums archived on its website. Here, we offer our recommendations.
Butte County Supervisor, District No. 2: Debra Lucero
The incumbent is exactly the kind of passionate public servant our county deserves. The energy Lucero puts into showing up for community at a wide range of venues and communicating the workings of local government to her constituents is inspiring. The CN&R respects her willingness to fight for democratic ideals like representation (notably during the redistricting process) and for protecting natural resources, especially our groundwater. Her two challengers have neither the experience nor the creative ideas to address the complex needs of the county.
Butte County Supervisor, District No. 3: Tami Ritter
This is a this two-person race, and we choose the sharp incumbent Ritter—and her priorities of affordable housing, protecting groundwater and responding to climate disasters—over challenger Mary Murphy-Waldorf, who’s leading off with the talking point of public health and safety concerns due to homelessness.
Butte County Assessor: Alyssa Douglass
To succeed outgoing Assessor Diane Brown, it’s a close one. Former Chico Mayor Randall Stone has experience on the assessment appeals board, but not in the assessor’s office. Douglass and Michael J. Howard both have had significant time in various capacities—including leadership—in the department; Douglass currently. She gets our nod for her 18 years of experience plus her recent management and streamlining of training new employees in an office that’s had a large amount of turnover.
Butte County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar: No endorsement
Even though Keaton Denlay is running unopposed, the CN&R thinks voters have a decision. Denlay, the county’s elections manager and an attorney, has worked five years under nine-term county clerk Candace Grubbs (see “Candy’s house”). His sister, former Chico City Councilwoman Kami Denlay, resigned from her seat when evidence of her residing in another county surfaced. Should he have known? Should he have been expected to “turn in” a family member? Those are judgment calls for voters about expectations of the public servant in charge of the integrity of elections.