The race to succeed Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, is a high-dollar affair, with business and labor pouring money into the redrawn district centered in Yolo and Napa counties.
Much of the money is being spent on behalf of Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd and Davis Councilman Dan Wolk.
Wolk, deputy county counsel for Solano County and the son of state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, snagged the endorsement of the Democratic Party and has gotten a big boost from labor unions.
Dodd, a Republican-turned-Democrat, has carved out a moderate, business-friendly image. Supporters include doctors, insurance agents and energy companies.
Both Dodd and Wolk have claimed ads attacking each of them and paid for by outside organizations range from misleading to false. The ads try to paint Wolk as a flip-flopper and point to him voting to raise water rates without support from the community. The process, in fact, went through several local channels.
An ad hitting Dodd for approving a supervisorial pay raise omits entirely that salary boosts, as mandated by county ordinance, are pegged to local judges’ pay.
While Dodd also has worked to burnish his environmental credentials, Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza points to his growing list of supporters from that field, including the Sierra Club, California League of Conservation Voters and Clean Water Action.
Krovoza, a senior official at the University of California, Davis, has been trying to break through the paid messaging for the other Democrats.
The district for years has been safely Democratic. Prior to redistricting, it stretched across Yolo and Solano counties (and included West Sacramento), but was redrawn to take in Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.
The Republicans running in the Democratic-favored 4th District include Charles Schaupp, a farmer and retired Marine Corps veteran.