Who are Local Mayors and Councilmembers Backing in the Democratic Primary?

By Robb Korinke

One week out from the Iowa Caucuses I thought I’d share my tracking of the race for local endorsements among our remaining Democratic Party candidates.

The story of the last 90 days or so has to be the explosion of local officials backing Bernie Sanders. Bernie has gone from a relative handful of formal endorsements to literally dozens as part of a big nationwide rollout of endorsements several weeks ago.

Since my first look at these endorsements in early December we’ve gained and lost contenders for the nomination. Most notably would be Kamala Harris’ departure from the field in early December. Harris held likely the most impressive list of endorsers (though not the lengthiest), holding 4 of the “Big 11” City Mayors. Her departure from the race saw these high profile names basically split between Biden and a new entrant, Michael Bloomberg.

Harris Endorsers and their new candidates:

● Robert Garcia, Mayor, City of Long Beach >>> Biden

● Darrell Steinberg, Mayor, City of Sacramento >>> Biden

● London Breed, Mayor, City of San Francisco >>> Bloomberg

● Sam Liccardo, Mayor, City of San Jose >>> Bloomberg

● Libby Schaff, Mayor, City of Oakland >>> Has not recommitted

● Aja Brown, Mayor, City of Compton >>> Has not recommitted

Bloomberg, long a philanthropic benefactor of cities and founder of a national group “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” has built an impressive list out of the gate, nabbing mayors of Stockton, Riverside, San Francisco and San Jose, among others.

Another new entrant is Tom Styer, major California political donor and environmental activist. I’ve only seen him net one local endorser, though a notable one in longtime LA County Supervisor (and imminently an LA City Councilmember) Mark Ridley Thomas.

Biden picked up LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia in recent weeks, but aside from these two and Darryl Steinberg his list of local backers is thin.

Again, why does any of this matter? Because California will apportion its delegates proportionally, every corner of the state has delegates up for grabs. This makes Bernie’s backing from areas throughout the state all the more valuable, as delegates from the Central Valley count just as much as those in LA or San Francisco.

The lists below don’t include school board endorsers, nor did include former elected officials. I also of course do not include State electeds, of which there are many.

As always, if I missed anyone, let me know. 


Joe Biden Endorsements

● Robert Garcia, Mayor, City of Long Beach

● Eric Garcetti, Mayor, City of Los Angeles

● Darryl Steinberg, Mayor, City of Sacramento


Mike Bloomberg endorsements

● Sam Liccardo, Mayor, San Jose

● London Breed, Mayor, San Francisco

● Michael Tubbs, Mayor, Stockon

● Rusty Bailey, Mayor Riverside

● Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas

● Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina

● Whitney Benzian, Mayor Pro Tem, Coronado

● Garrett Gatewood, Vice Mayor, Rancho Cordova

● Adam Hill, Supervisor, San Luis Obispo County

● David Canepa, Supervisor, San Mateo County

● Don Horsley, Supervisor, San Mateo County

● Daniel Parra, Council Member, Fowler

● Mark West, Council Member, Imperial Beach

● Virginia Gurrola, Council Member, Porterville

● Donald Terry, Council Member, Rancho Cordova

● Mark Kersey, Council Member, San Diego


Bernie Sanders endorsements:

● Jesse Arreguin, Mayor, City of Berkeley

● Aaron Peskin, San Francisco County Supervisor

● Gordon Mar, San Francisco County Supervisor

● Hillary Ronen, San Francisco County Supervisor

● Elizabeth Alcantar Loza, Mayor, Cudahy

● David Arambula, Mayor Pro Tem, Lemon Grove

● Vinnie Bacon, Council Member, Fremont

● Chris Barajas, Council Member, Jurupa Valley

● Philip Bautista, Coachella City Councilmember

● Megan Beaman Jacinto, Coachella City Councilmember

● David Canepa, Supervisor, San Mateo

● Jesse Chavez, Highland City Council

● Corinna Contreras, Council Member, Vista

● Dr. Justin Cummings, Vice Mayor, Santa Cruz

● Rod Daus-Magbual, Council Member, Daly City

● Cheryl Davila, Berkeley City Council Member, Berkeley

● Eddie De La Riva, Mayor, City of Maywood

● Bruce Delgado, Mayor, Marina

● Francisco Estrada, Watsonville City Councilmember

● Nikki Fortunato Bas, Oakland City Council

● Waymond Fermon, Indio City Councilmember

● Drew Glover, Council Member, Santa Cruz

● Aaron Gomez, San Luis Obispo City Councilmember

● Josie Gonzalez, Coachella City Councilmember

● Rubio Gonzalez, Council Member (District 1), Pomona

● Heidi Harmon, Mayor, San Luis Obispo

● Kate Harrison, Berkeley City Council Member (District 4), Berkeley

● Steven Hernandez, Mayor, Coachella

● Sam Hindi, Mayor, Foster City

● Jewel Hurtado, Council Member, Kingsburg

● Jenny Kassan, Council Member (District 3), Fremont

● Chris Krohn, Council Member, Santa Cruz

● Daniel Lee, Culver City Councilmember

● Rey León, Mayor of Huron

● Oscar Magaña, Former Mayor, Maywood

● Gordon Mar, Supervisor (District 4), San Francisco

● Eduardo Martinez, Council Member, Richmond

● Emmanuel Martinez, Mayor Pro Tempore, Coachella

● Salvador Melendez, Mayor Pro Tem, Montebello

● Dr. Jose F. Moreno, Council Member, Anaheim

● Oscar Ortiz, Council Member, Indio

● Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, Mayor, El Cerrito

● Jeannine Pearce, Council Member (District 2), Long Beach

● Victor Preciado, Vice Mayor, Pomona

● Dean Preston, San Francisco Supervisor

● Rolan Resendiz, Council Member (District 2), Hollister

● Lenny Siegel, Former Mayor, Mountain View

● Sheng Thao, Oakland City Councilmember

● Nestor Enrique Valencia, Bell City Council

● Melvin Willis, Council Member, Richmond

● Jon Wizard, Council Member, Seaside


Pete Buttigieg endorsements:

● Christopher Cabaldon, Mayor, West Sacramento

● John D'Amico, Councilmember, West Hollywood

● Lindey Horvath, Councilmember, West Hollywood

● Rob Moon, Councilmember, City of Palm Springs

● Gleam Davis, Councilmember, City of Santa Monica

● Gabriel Quinto, Councilmember, City of El Cerrito

● John Harabedian, Councilmember, City of Sierra Madre

● Daniel Yost, Councilmember, City of Woodside


Elizabeth Warren endorsements:

● Nelson Esparza, Councilmember, City of Fresno

● Chris Rogers, Vice Mayor, City of Santa Rosa

● Ray Buenaventura, Mayor, City of Daly City

● Hillary Ronen, San Francisco County Supervisor

● Rafael Mandelman, San Francisco County Supervisor

● Norman Yee, San Francisco County Supervisor

● Shamann Walton, San Francisco County Supervisor

● Lauren Meister, Councilmember, City of West Hollywood

● Susan Ellenberg, Supervisor, Santa Clara County

● Meghan Sahli-Wells, Mayor, City of Culver City

● Chris Ward, Councilmember, City of San Diego

● Sara Lamnin, Councilmember, City of Hayward


Tom Steyer Endorsements:

● Mark Ridley Thomas, Supervisor, Los Angeles County


Julian Castro endorsements (Up for grabs)

● Noel Gallo, Councilmember, City of Oakland >>> Has not recommitted

● Bryan Osorio, Councilmember, City of Delano >>> Has not recommitted


Kamala Harris endorsements (Up for Grabs):

● Robert Garcia, Mayor, City of Long Beach >>> Biden

● Libby Schaff, Mayor, City of Oakland >>> Has not recommitted

● London Breed, Mayor, City of San Francisco >>> Bloomberg

● Sam Liccardo, Mayor, City of San Jose >>> Bloomberg

● Darrell Steinberg, Mayor, City of Sacramento >>> Biden

● Aja Brown, Mayor, City of Compton >>> Has not recommitted

● Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Councilmember, City of Oakland >>> Has not recommitted