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5th District Candidate Endorsements & Letters


5th District Candidate Endorsements & Letters
Community Members Weigh in on Their Choice for 5th District Supervisor

I am proud to support Lynda Hopkins for Supervisor. 

I have been observing Lynda Hopkins for many, many months and have seen first-hand that her support is broad based.   She has been embraced by a wide range of individuals in the fifth district.  Many in the local business and non-profit communities support her because her pragmatic, no-nonsense approach to working with people.  Such a refreshing change from the combative “us versus them” politics.  

I support Lynda because I believe she will be the most effective at bridging the divide between business and environmental issues.  Rather than fueling the fire of contempt between “business” and “labor” interest—or “farming” and “environmental” interest—we need to find ways to bring everyone to the table and move our community in a better direction.  If you have met Lynda, you may have heard her talk about how she also wants to use the existing structure to create Community Improvement Districts along the coast and Russian River corridors.  The concept is simple—the enactment challenging—to bring dollars back to the communities that are generating the monies from tourism (TOT).  

She gets it.  She has my vote. 

Patty Ginochio, Bodega Bay
Business Owner & Resident
President, Bodega Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
Director, Bodega Bay CERT


The race for 5th District Supervisor has been interesting. When they talk about the issues it sometimes seems that little separates Noreen Evans and Lynda Hopkins. They both seem to have good ideas about how to care for West Sonoma County. They both sound remarkably progressive.

That said, there are two important differences between them for voters to consider: Endorsements and Experience.

Noreen Evans is endorsed by trusted environmental groups. Progressives support Noreen. They know she’ll protect our coast, river, forests, workers, and economy.  Lynda Hopkins, by contrast, is backed by many pro development advocacy groups like Sonoma County Alliance, and Northern California Engineering Contractors Association. Chamber-friendly officials from across Sonoma County have endorsed Lynda.

Noreen is experienced. She has a track record that proves she has protected the environment and supported working people in Sonoma County for decades. Lynda is a brand-new beginner politician with no record. Will Lynda walk her talk once in office? Hard to say, but the groups who support her will have made a bad investment in Lynda if she does. 

These women are running for the most important political position in Sonoma County and it is no place for a beginner.

Common sense demands that beginners should start at the beginning. There are scads of less-critical political posts where Lynda could serve our community and prove her mettle and walk her talk. 

We need a trusted and proven leader for the Fifth District—Noreen Evans.

Dan Gurney


From 2004 through 2010 I had the opportunity to observe Noreen Evans as a California legislator when I frequently provided expert testimony at committee hearings, summits, and events. 

I wish I could say that all our assembly members and senators worked as hard as Noreen Evans or were as responsible to the public.  There were many times when empty seats of committee members reflected the lack of professionalism and dedication on the part of our elected lawmakers.  Noreen Evans not only showed up consistently, but she came very well prepared.  She listened with respect to both speakers from the floor and her legislative peers.  She asked intelligent questions, sometimes provocative ones that gave people pause.  When she chaired the Human Services Committee, she was compassionate with citizens yet pragmatic about solutions.  When she chaired the Assembly Budget Committee during some of the worst economic times in our state, I was amazed at how well she handled contentious dialogue among those were unwilling or afraid to cut their share of the state budget.   The Budget Committee, in my opinion, is the most difficult to lead and manage, but she took it on with panache.  

Noreen Evans cut her political teeth in Sonoma County.  At the local level, we rewarded her service to us by electing her to the California legislature.  And we re-elected her—more than once-- when we saw what she had accomplished.  Now she is gracious enough to bring back all she learned at the state level and help us by applying that knowledge locally.  There is value in electing a county supervisor who can navigate ways to support our interests at the state level and find ways to tap into state programs that can help us.

Let’s not let her hard-earned knowledge and experience go to waste.  Let’s not question her motives when the questioning stems from assumptions not facts.  Let’s not settle for promises from her smart but opponent.  Noreen Evan s is a proven candidate we can trust to work hard for us and who knows how to get it done.

Trula M. LaCalle, Ph.D.


Commentaries from the Noreen Evans campaign have reached new lows in the rhetoric and disinformation that have characterized their attacks on Lynda Hopkins.  Since they cannot find anything to criticize about what Lynda has to say, they have resorted to fear and smear. 

Lynda is a progressive Democrat, as are most of her active supporters.  She is an environmentalist and small farmer with a degree in land use planning.  She supports environmental protection, urban boundaries, affordable housing and supportive services.  These are not agenda items of  big business or “the 1%”.   

She was not “hand-picked” anyone.  She decided to run because she believes that she can be part of a better and fairer Sonoma County in the future.  She’s received support from local business because she is smart, pragmatic and eager to work with everyone.   

Noreen Evans is the candidate with the history of questionable financial support, including big energy, big pharmaceuticals, Indian gaming, payday lenders and wineries.  True, Noreen was in the Legislature where this type of support is more common than we would like.  But it is a disingenuous irony that her campaign accuses Lynda of being controlled by interests that Noreen has represented in the past.   

Samantha Nichols, Santa Rosa


Lynda Hopkins may be an organic farmer with a fresh face and a couple of “Ivy League West” degrees, compared to Efren’s one. Like him, she represents the good old boy network. And it is her campaign that is the nasty one, blaming and haranguing and then acting like the victim.  

The earlier harping on pension legislation reminds me of the persecution of Rue Furch over her property taxes. The latest hit pieces from Eric Koenigshofer, lobbyist for Preservation Ranch, which ultimately garnered $10M from the Coastal Conservancy and special interest money from the same real estate, development, wineries and extractive industry interests that have funded Ms. Hopkins's campaign, include a full page color ad in the Press Democrat on October 12 and a glossy color mailer the same day. Both slam Noreen Evans and her time on the Coastal Conservancy, saying she did not vote on key coastal issues. This is misleading and disingenuous; as a legislator, Ms. Evans was not a voting member of the Conservancy. One wonders why those who know, such as the Conservancy Chair, can allow such misinformation to be published.  

Today, October 13, another costly full page color ad slams Evans for taking money from casino interests while accusing Ms. Hopkins of a conflict of interest for the same. This ad, again funded by those special interests, including those involved in the Cloverdale casino—the tribe's lobbyist, Rob Muelrath, is Hopkins's campaign consultant—shows how desperate her supporters are to keep their power in Sonoma County.  

They want to hand an extremely important job to someone with no experience, like she was handed a several-million-dollar organic farm as a wedding present. If the subject comes up about the money literally pouring into her campaign, it is either dismissed or called an attack. Ms. Hopkins may very well be “passionate” about west county issues, but I for one am tired of hearing about her Stanford degrees and her organic farm.  

Let’s not be fooled—it’s becoming more and more painfully obvious that that essential swing vote on the Board of Superviors, so urgent now for protecting our beloved county and coast, is in grave danger of being bought.

Kate Fenton




As a former board member of the State Coastal Conservancy, I have been disturbed by the recent misleading mailers and full page ads criticizing Noreen Evans for poor attendance on that Board.

First, the legislative seat on the Conservancy Board is a non-voting, ex-officio position intended mainly to maintain some contact between the Conservancy and the legislature. It is not a decision making seat.

Second, it is common practice for legislators to designate key staff to represent them at Commission meetings which often occur while the legislature is in session. Evans did this on a number of occasions and, combined with her personal attendance, scores among the highest attendees of legislative representatives before or after her service on the Board.

Further, Legislators have always had a role in shaping the agenda and priorities for projects in their districts. As such, Noreen was an active and effective advocate for the Conservancy projects in the Laguna restoration, the Jenner Headlands and Preservation Ranch.

All of this information is omitted in the ads against her. It is the type of deliberately misleading, last-minute hit piece that should have voters questioning her opponent rather than Evans.

Mike Reilly




 Dear Eric,

 What has happened to you?  I’ve known you for over 30 years and have considered you a friend.  I respected your zeal and participation in the local political process even though I don’t always agree with your positions.  You have always seemed to care about Sonoma county and the process of good local governance and discourse in the community. However, your latest foray into local politics with your support of Lynda Hopkins has gone beyond the pale.

 We are currently experiencing a presidential election that has sunk to a depraved, loutish level, characterized by bluster and outright lies from a racist, misogynistic moron.  It is sad and worrisome that our national discourse has sunk to this abject level.   Money talks and democracy suffers when a billionaire bully can try to buy an election with bottomless funds.

 Your intentionally misleading and thoroughly dishonest newspaper ads attacking Noreen Evans are bringing the bile of the national election to our home community in Sonoma county.  Your work raising money from self-interested outside sources in an effort to buy this election is all about greed.  Those so-called supporters just want to have their way with the county as they seek to turn us into L.A. north.

 Lastly, you may not agree with Noreen Evans but she has been a tireless public servant with high integrity working for us for the past several decades and she does not deserve to have lies spread about her just to meet your client’s needs.  You owe her an apology.

 Sincerely, David Katz


Lynda Hopkins -- An Independent Voice

Lynda Hopkins is a fresh, authentic, independent voice running for 5th District Supervisor. She's smart, tough, and loves West County. What a natural! She's energetic and creative, with a passion for government transparency.

A delight at Town Hall meetings, she listens to everyone, takes new ideas gracefully into consideration, is flexible, reasonable, open and direct. Her

background in Land Use and Environmental Studies is a perfect fit for the

5th District. She will protect our coast, assure free access to our beaches, maintain our rivers, parks, roads and enhance our schools, libraries and social services.

She's got what we need and are looking for. Join me in voting for Lynda 

Hopkins for Supervisor.

Ann Maurice, Occidental



I understand Lynda Hopkins has received a lot of money from business to back her campaign. Some say a whole lot, like a zillion or a even a zillion five. Some say Lynda had to leave her prize goats out in the rain so she'd have a place to store all that cash. I'm sure that's a silly exaggeration--unless the Noreen Evans campaign gives official confirmation that they believe it's true. But I have some bad news for Fat Cat Donors: Unless you are too dumb to realize what district we are talking about, this is the Fifth. Way past granola, way past merely environmental, way past approving of any business that is not GMO-free, Monsanto-hating and worker-owned. Build on the coast? forget it. See, once Lynda is in office, unless you are a one-percenter of the nature-loving persuasion, who has a Constitutional right to see lovely open space every day, you are not going to like the way Lynda does business. She doesn't want RoundUp anywhere near her organic farm, and she doesn't want any event centers in ag zones, any more big grape-growing projects that rob water from existing users, any further degradation of the River or any of that stuff that Noreen should oppose as well. So if Lynda doesn't want to listen to the gravel miners and developers, she won't have to. IN FACT, DOING FAVORS FOR BIG BUSINESS WOULD BE A DEATH SENTENCE FOR ANY NEW FIFTH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR'S SECOND TERM. So Lynda not only means what she says, she is free to keep her promises. And know what? Her big financial backers know that. In the Fifth Supervisorial District of Sonoma County, California, big contributors are grateful that Lynda will talk to them at all. She certainly doesn't have to.

Scott Kersnar, Guerneville

Hopkins has strong values

I have known Lynda Hopkins intimately for fourteen years, and been married to her for six.  We met while in Stanford’s Earth Systems program, where we studied land use, climate change, marine science and environmental economics.

We took our values with us when we moved back to the property where I grew up along the Russian River. Lynda and I started an organic vegetable farm. Despite intense pressures, we never used a single non-organic product on our fields.  We chose to grow vegetables, grains, and livestock because that was our vision for the community—not because it was the path of least resistance.

While farming, Lynda also served as Executive Director at Farm Trails and as a community journalist with Sonoma West Publishers. She has always taken the path of serving the community and put her values ahead of doing what was easy or profitable.

As co-treasurer for Lynda’s campaign, I can tell you that the campaign has received over 500 donations below $250—most of them below $100—from ordinary community members.  Anyone elected to supervisor is going to have to answer to supporters and donors who they may disagree with at times. But I’m proud to say that Lynda will have far more small donors to answer to, and I know that she has the strength and values to follow her conscience.  Lynda will always put the needs of the West County community, environment and people first.

Emmett Hopkins