More supervisor hopefuls emerge
Ramos faces Aboudamous again; Gregory also runs
Incumbent Napa County Supervisor Belia Ramos and American Canyon City Councilmember Mariam Aboudamous will have a rematch in the March 5, 2024 election for the 5th District Board of Supervisors seat.
In addition, incumbent Supervisor Ryan Gregory recently said he will seek a third term for the 2nd District seat. Soda Canyon resident Amber Manfree is seeking the 4th District seat.
Three of the five Napa County Board of Supervisors seats are on the 2024 ballot. Candidates are beginning to emerge, though there is plenty of time for more to join the races.
Here are how things are shaping up so far.
Ramos and Aboudamous are both familiar faces in south county politics. The 5th District includes American Canyon, the Coombsville area and a slice of the southeast city of Napa.
Ramos defeated Aboudamous in the March 2020 supervisor election, 53% to 47%. That gave Ramos a second term. Both Ramos and Aboudamous have law degrees and live in American Canyon.
Aboudamous has served on the American Canyon City Council since 2016, having been elected to two terms, the first with Ramos' endorsement. She was born in San Francisco to Palestinian immigrants from Jerusalem and grew up in American Canyon.
She talked about her 2024 candidacy in a news release.
"With the right leadership at the county, I know we can improve regional transit and reduce traffic, build more affordable housing, invest in water infrastructure and climate resiliency and tackle our homelessness crisis," she said. "Our county's brightest days are ahead of us and I look forward to working together to achieve them."
In American Canyon, Aboudamous has championed a term-limit ballot measure for the council. She has called for higher-density housing in the city's urban core so people can reach destinations without cars.
Ramos was born in the city of Napa and grew up in St. Helena, where her father worked on a farm. She previously served on the American Canyon City Council.
In a third supervisor term, she said, she'd like to see Newell Drive extended through unincorporated land to South Kelly Road, which would create a Highway 29 parallel route in the south county. She'd like to see continued investment in affordable housing, especially family farmworker housing and expanded homeless and transitional supportive housing.
She is also running on her record, listing such things as wildfire prevention and housing programs undertaken by the county.
"I'm excited to be running for reelection," Ramos said. "I very much enjoy serving the residents of the 5th District and the county of Napa."
The 2020 race between Ramos and Aboudamous split the local political establishment. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, Supervisor Gregory, then-Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht and American Canyon Mayor Leon Garcia endorsed Ramos. State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza, then-Supervisor Diane Dillon and American Canyon Councilmember Mark Joseph endorsed Aboudamous.
People have until Dec. 8 to file to run in a Board of Supervisors race. The deadline is extended to Dec. 13 if an incumbent doesn't run.
Candidates in recent years have tended to enter Board of Supervisors races well in advance of filing deadlines, given that fundraising takes time. Winning candidates in recent years have raised in the $100,000-to-$200,000 range and more.
But early declarations are not always the case. For the 2020 contest, Aboudamous filed her candidate intention statement on the last day, only three months before the election. This time, she's announced more than nine months in advance.
"I do think it's going to make a difference in that I have more time to gain more support in the areas I was lacking in the first time," Aboudamous said.
Incumbent Supervisor Gregory said he will run for a third term. The county is undertaking some multiyear tasks, such as the general plan update and facilities master plan, that will extend past his current term.
"I'd like to see those things through," he said.
Also, he saw the COVID-19 pandemic as eating into his current term. The county wasn't able to get as much done during the pandemic, said Gregory.
The Board of Supervisors this year saw two newcomers take office in Anne Cottrell and Joelle Gallagher. It will see at least one newcomer in 2025, given that incumbent Supervisor Pedroza has said he won't run for reelection in the 4th District.
That means Gregory, if reelected, would be a Board of Supervisors senior member.
"I think it going to be important that a few of us have the experience running county government," he said.
The 2nd District includes much of the western city of Napa and rural Mount Veeder. As of Thursday, no other person had informed the Napa Valley Register of a candidacy.
With Pedroza saying he won't run again, that leaves room for a newcomer to be elected. Soda Canyon resident Amber Manfree, who lost to Pedroza in 2020, has said she will be a candidate.
The 4th District includes part of the northeast city of Napa and the rural Silverado, Circle Oaks and Berryessa Highlands communities.
you can reach Barry Eberling at 707-256-2253 or beberling@ napanews.com