It’s Not Over Yet – Petaluma City Council Race Still Undecided

Petaluma Planning Commissioner Bill Wolpert’s campaign for a seat on the Petaluma City Council apparently isn’t over just yet, with the candidate 137 votes behind incumbent Gabe Kearney on election night.
A full count, according to Wolpert himself, writing below, may not come until after Thanksgiving.
If this feels rather familiar, you may recall that just two years ago another Petaluma election was decided days after the election, just two days before Thanksgiving, 2012
Mayor David Glass we re-elected by just 84 votes, but the election day preliminary count had challenger Mike Harris, then a Petaluma City Councilmember, ahead by 211 votes. – RR

The Wolpert campaign just released the following statement on November 13:


My name is Bill Wolpert.  I was, and apparently still am, a candidate for Petaluma City Council.  This is my update on the Council election and on the lessons my campaign can offer in these tumultuous times after the national election.

As most of you probably know, the tally after Election Day has me slightly short of winning a Council seat.  I’m 137 votes behind incumbent Councilmember Kearney for the third and final opening.  We’re both a little short of 10,000 votes.  But those facts may be only the beginning of the story.

Current numbers indicate that about 7,500 later ballots remain to be counted in Petaluma, easily enough to overcome a 137 vote deficit.  Also, there is a history of Petaluma elections being settled by later ballots.

I’m not counting on a victory, but neither am I ignoring the possibility.  Instead, I’m waiting, quietly hopeful, until the final tally is announced, perhaps after Thanksgiving.  I ask you to join me in that hopeful waiting.

Nor is the pending election result the only reason for hope in our community.  I also take great hope in the way the community embraced my campaign.

When I suggested that the city, now more than ever, needed to be careful and cautious in its use of limited resources, when I chose to take the high road on campaign tactics, and when I relied on making personal connections and listening to your concerns to build support, you believed in me.

Some told me that I’d been too nice, that it was impossible to win in our town with a campaign based on honesty.  And yet here we are, post-Election Day, with victory still a possibility.

Your steadfast, principled support is why we’ve exceeded expectations.

Now, your steadfast, principled belief in doing the right thing is also needed on a national level.  After the results of Tuesday evening, we’re in a period of upset, uncertainty, and trepidation.  I believe that if we stay calm and do the right things, solving the problems that the electorate has highlighted while also respecting the rights of everyone around us, we’ll be fine.

I believe that Petaluma can be an example of how to problem solve with respect and fairness for all.

Regardless of the outcome of the Council race, I’ll be returning to the dais in the Council Chambers.  The only question is whether it’ll be as a Councilmember or a Planning Commissioner.  Either way, I’ll have a role to play in plotting the course of Petaluma.  To help me in that task, I want to know what you think.  Please reply to this email to continue the dialogue.  I care about your opinions.

Bill Wolpert
Candidate, Petaluma City Council

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