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Healdsburg's Tom Chambers running for supervisor seat

  • Tom Chambers (PD FILE, 2008)

Healdsburg City Councilman Tom Chambers this week became the fifth candidate to enter the increasingly crowded race for north Sonoma County supervisor.

Chambers, who has served twice as mayor of Healdsburg, stressed his background in government coupled with his management experience in the manufacturing and high-tech sectors, with preparing him for the supervisorial role.

“It takes a blend of both,” he said. “I think I have the track record and experience to do the job.”

Chambers, who has mechanical engineering degrees from UCLA and Stanford, portrays himself as analytical and data-driven, able to make tough decisions.

But he said he is also “very collaborative. I listen to my constituency.”

Chambers said he hopes to get backing from the business community, but he said he will seek diverse support.

“I don't have some specific agenda. I have an open mind,” he said, describing himself as “a moderate, fiscally conservative democrat.”

Petaluma political consultant Brian Sobel said Tuesday that Chambers has some name recognition, but with five people in the running, raising money becomes even more important.

“Like other people in the race, it will be a question of fundraising and getting out in the district — getting well known fairly quickly,” he said.

“These guys all understand the key to winning is fundraising,” Sobel said. “You have to raise enough to get the message out, or the message doesn't matter.”

Estimates range from a minimum of $150,000 to $250,000 or more that the successful candidate will need to collect.

Chambers, 63, joins longtime Windsor Councilwoman Deb Fudge, 57, making her third bid for the North County seat; James Gore, 35, a former assistant chief in the U.S Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, making his first bid for public office; former Healdsburg Mayor Pete Foppiano, 59, making his second bid for supervisor; and Keith Rhinehart, 60, a former UPS supervisor and part-time teacher, making a second attempt at being elected supervisor.

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