City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

November 10, 2011
Poll targets Sheedy, shows 35 percent support her re-election

A political committee of local business owners - a group that has been critical of many sitting council members - conducted a poll of Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy last month that showed 35 percent of those interviewed in her north Sacramento district were likely to re-elect the three-term incumbent.

The poll - commissioned by Better Sacramento, a group of local business leaders previously known as the Sacramento 60 - was conducted between Oct. 19 and 21. That's around the same time Sheedy did her own poll of city voters that showed most favor a vote on any proposal for a new downtown sports arena involving the use of public assets.

Of the 300 voters interviewed, 88 percent said they had heard of Sheedy, according to a memo detailing the results of the survey by well-known pollster Jim Moore. While 35 percent said they would vote for her, 43 percent said they would prefer "someone new."

The poll memo states that "a healthy 're-elect' question percentage for an incumbent elected official is 50% of greater. Sandy Sheedy is well below this threshold."

Sheedy's support decreased after voters were given follow-up questions.

Of those called, 84 percent were "very concerned" that the city laid off 40 police officers "at the same time they raised city administrators' salaries."

Since the exact language of the poll was not available, I can't be sure what raises that question is referring to. However, if it's regarding raises given to three city department heads in February, that was a decision made by former Interim City Manager Gus Vina - a decision that Sheedy criticized.

Another follow-up question resulted in 79 percent of those polled saying they were "very concerned" that the city laid off cops around the time it hired new City Manager John Shirey at a record salary and granted him a severance package.

Sheedy voted in favor of Shirey's salary package. She was also one of six council members to vote for the police layoffs as a way to help address the city's $39 million deficit.

Given that additional information, 14 percent of those polled said they would support Sheedy, while 61 percent said they wanted someone new.

For her part, Sheedy told me this morning that "it's going to be a difficult time for all incumbents, no matter where they are."

So far, three candidates have formed committees to take on Sheedy: Kim Mack, who ran President Obama's campaign in the region; developer Allen Warren; and Rob Kerth, the area's former councilman and the former head of the Midtown Business Association.

"My record in District 2 is very strong and I think my constituents will take that into consideration," Sheedy told me. "They know me and they trust me."

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at


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