Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Tuesday November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Invest in unbiased information

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.


City of Santa RosaCandidate for Council Member, Council District 2

Photo of John Sawyer

John Sawyer

City Councilmember/Businessman
5,991 votes (56.8%)Winning
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Supporting housing production at all levels.
  • Fire recovery and rebuilding needs.
  • Alleviating homelessness and investing in our future.



Profession:Santa Rosa City Councilmember
Councilmember, Santa Rosa City Council — Elected position (2014–current)
Mayor, City of Santa Rosa — Appointed position (2014–2016)
Councilmember, Santa Rosa City Council — Elected position (2004–2012)
Manager/Owner, Sawyers News, Inc. (1976–2010)


Montgomery High School High School Diploma (current)


John Sawyer’s story is one with deep roots in Santa Rosa. His Great Grandparents immigrated to Santa Rosa from Europe in the late 1890’s. They settled and planted vineyards in rural Bennett Valley, where the family’s original farmhouse stands to this day. It is this history that serves as the basis for John’s continued appreciation and love of the natural characteristics of Santa Rosa.

Bill and Lee Sawyer, John’s parents, raised their three boys to remain true to that history by becoming productive, active members in their community. John’s parents taught him the value of hard work and to always be dedicated, stay committed and never give up. Those traits remain instilled in him today.

In 1976, at age 21, John assumed the title of Manager of Sawyers News, Inc. By this time, the Newsstand had become a Sonoma County institution, as his Great Grandfather, Doc Sawyer and Grandfather Wilbur sold their first Santa Rosa paper in 1945.

Eventually, John became the sole proprietor of the family business up until its closing in 2010.

Wanting to continue his service in the community, John assumed an active role in volunteering. He was first elected to the Santa Rosa City Council in 2004 and served as its Vice Mayor and then Mayor in 2008. John was elected to his second term as Mayor in 2014, and has continued as an active member of the City Council since his Mayoral term ended in December 2016.

In addition to his City Council position, John currently serves as the Chairman of the Board – Santa Rosa Community Health and immediate past Chair of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency. His current City Council appointments include: Long Term Financial Policy and Audit Subcommittee, Cannabis Subcommittee and the Downtown Subcommittee.

John also served on the Sonoma County Transportation Authority for five years and has held posts on the Downtown Development Association, Neighborhood Oriented Policing Citizen’s Advisory Board, Sonoma County Cultural Arts Council and the Luther Burbank Home and Garden Association to name a few.

As a Fourth-Generation resident, John Sawyer’s vision for our City is one based on his family’s long history in Santa Rosa and an understanding of the value of being committed to this community.

John was born in what is now City Council District 2 and has lived there for over 60 years.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • The Press Democrat
  • Sonoma County Alliance
  • Santa Rosa City Councilmembers Tom Schwedhelm and Ernesto Olivares

Organizations (5)

  • Sonoma County Alliance
  • Teamsters Local 856
  • Santa Rosa Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Operating Engineers Local 3
  • Northern California Engineering Contractors Association

Elected Officials (5)

  • U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson
  • State Senator Bill Dodd
  • State Assemblymember Marc Levine
  • Santa Rosa City Councilmembers Tom Schwedhelm and Ernesto Olivares
  • Former Santa Rosa Mayors Donna Born, Janet Condron and Sharon Wright

Who else is running?

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.