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Petaluma City Council candidate field expands

Published: Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 8:49 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 8:49 a.m.

The field is becoming more crowded for candidates seeking the three Petaluma City Council seats up for election in November.

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Jason Davies

Business owner and former software executive Jason Davies, who finished fourth in a race for three seats in 2010, entered the race this week.

He joins Vice Mayor Tiffany Renee and Councilman Gabe Kearney, who seek reelection, and Alicia Kae Herries, a Planning Commissioner who announced her intent to run this spring.

Councilman Mike Healy, whose term also is ending, said Wednesday he “is still thinking about” whether to run for reelection.

The names of two prominent local politicians also have been circulating as possible candidates: Pam Torliatt, a longtime former member of the council, and Mike Kerns, who represented Petaluma for three terms on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

Neither could be reached for comment Wednesday. Kerns has publicly acknowledged he is considering a run.

Davies, 44, has lived in Petaluma for 12 years and was formerly an executive with the defunct Berkley Integrated Audio Software, or BIAS, a Petaluma company that developed sound editing software. He left earlier this year to start his own Petaluma business, Eleven Dimensions Media.

The firm aims to create and grow new business opportunities for domestic and international media tech firms, and also develops software for mobile devices.

Davies, who says he is “pro-business and pro-environmental protection,” said the council needs to focus on bringing new companies to Petaluma and nurture local entrepreneurial talent to bring well-paying jobs to Petaluma.

“Regardless of one's own political beliefs, the job of a council member is to serve all members of the public and I'm quite comfortable in working with council members and the public at large, regardless of differing beliefs, to deliver positive results,” he said.

Political observers have said with Davies entering the race, a Torliatt candidacy may be unlikely. With three seats open and three candidates supported by progressives – Herries, Renee and Davies – a fourth might split the vote, they said.

Healy is supported more by business and development interests, as Kerns would be.

Kearney is a liberal Democrat but hasn't voted consistently with either camp since he was appointed to the nonpartisan council in 2010. He is filling out the remaining time of David Glass' council term, which he vacated when he was elected mayor.

The deadline for filing election paperwork with the city clerk is Aug. 10, which would extend to Aug. 15 if any of the incumbents decide not to run.

Contact Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 762-7297 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com.

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