Ryan Coonerty celebrates his 2018 campaign victory for a second term as a county supervisor.
Ryan Coonerty celebrates his 2018 campaign victory for a second term as a county supervisor.
(Courtesy: Ryan Coonerty)
Civic Life

‘It’s the right time.’: Ryan Coonerty in his own words about choosing not to run for reelection

Santa Cruz County Third District Supervisor Ryan Coonerty announced to his constituents in a newsletter Tuesday that he won’t be seeking reelection in 2022 for a third term. Here’s the full text of what he wrote.

Santa Cruz County Third District Supervisor Ryan Coonerty announced Tuesday that he won’t be seeking reelection next year, a shocking move given Coonerty’s reputation as one of the county’s most communicative and visible government leaders.

In an announcement to his constituents distributed via email, he took a decidedly optimistic, focusing on his achievements in his two terms in office and stressing he still has “19 months to do some real good.”

Here’s the text of that statement:

Santa Cruz’s population is using about the same amount of water in 2021 as in 1981, despite growing by about 30,000...

It’s been an honor to serve as your representative on the Board of Supervisors these past six years and to be able to work with many of you on the important issues facing our community.

The decision was not easy. I am confident that I would have won reelection, but, in the end, I think it’s the right time. Together, we’ve navigated the most challenging times in our County’s history and enacted some transformational policies that will serve the community for decades to come. At the same time, there is tremendous political talent — particularly among women — who I believe will be excellent representatives for the Third District.

This past year we’ve responded to a pandemic, an economic crisis, devastating forest fires, an overdue reckoning on racial injustice and constant attacks on our institutions and values by the Trump administration. I’m proud of the work we did to save lives and livelihoods while protecting the most vulnerable.

Of the many achievements of the last six years, I am most proud of establishing the Nurse Family Partnership, which pairs a nurse with first time, low-income moms from the time they are pregnant to when their child reaches 2 years old.

The program, which was the County’s first home visiting program, began as a pilot but is now an integral part of the County’s continuum of care. Already we are seeing great results among the graduates of these families from higher immunization rates, reduced ER visits, and enrollment in preschool. In addition to the NFP, we’ve been able to establish:

It goes without saying that this was a team effort that would not have been possible without you and my tireless and talented staff. Rachel Dann, Allison Endert, Jillian Ritter and Andy Schiffrin have been extraordinary in their commitment to serve, advocacy for those who need it the most and just flat out brilliant at marshaling the institutions of government on behalf of the people.

I still have 19 months left to do some real good. I plan to take advantage of every minute.

-Ryan