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Napa Councilmember Doris Gentry declares candidacy for mayor in 2020 election

Napa Councilmember Doris Gentry declares candidacy for mayor in 2020 election


Doris Gentry, who scored an election victory in 2016 that catapulted her to the Napa City Council, has her sights on the city’s top job.

Gentry will announce on Friday morning her campaign for Napa mayor in the November 2020 election, joining council colleague Scott Sedgley in the race to succeed Jill Techel. A veteran of City Hall for more than two decades, Techel, who was elected mayor in 2004 and is in her fourth term, announced in January she will not seek re-election and instead support Sedgley as her successor.

Gentry’s announcement ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday in front of City Hall.

In remarks released before the ceremony, Gentry reiterated the resident-focused outlook she promoted during her 2016 council campaign, pledging to uphold the interests of locals for business investment and to help develop a “family-friendly city” even as tourism’s importance to the city economy grows.

“Everything about me says family,” wrote Gentry, pointing to her years as a foster parent to some 200 male teenagers and two decades with Napa Valley College leading parenting programs.

“Napa is a great city, and it takes a savvy leader to be our mayor, to be a bridge for this community,” she said. “Campaigning in Napa, you told me you want an emphasis on families, locals and safety.”

Despite holding off on a formal announcement until this week, Gentry had hinted at her mayoral run from about the same time Sedgley confirmed his own campaign on Jan. 29, the same day Techel confirmed she would not run again.

Gentry was not up for re-election in the 2018 council race, during which she was midway through a four-year term, but nonetheless raised more than $42,000 in the last 2 ½ months of the year as she sought to bolster her finances “whatever I run for.”

On March 14, members of the Napa County Republican Central Committee also announced Gentry’s pending mayoral candidacy during a forum with county election registrar John Tuteur.

The mayoral runs by Gentry and Sedgley open up their respective seats on the City Council in the November 2020 election. Techel, the departing mayor, has welcomed that possibility as a potential entry point for younger Napans to take office – continuing a trend in which three candidates younger than 40 ran for council in 2018 and one, Mary Luros, captured one of the two contested seats.

Over the 20 months leading to Election Day, Gentry promised to bring to her mayoral campaign the same industry she did during her run for City Council three years ago, which included holding signs and greeting would-be voters hours before the polls closed.

“Running for mayor is not a ‘thing to do’; it is my passion, goal and mission,” she said in her pre-announcement remarks. “It will be my every breath from now until the election. This campaign will outwork, outwalk, outtalk, out pray, outthink any and all candidates jumping in this arena. I am running for mayor of Napa and fully intend to win.”

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Public Safety Reporter

Howard Yune covers public safety for the Napa Valley Register. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.

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