Two of the six candidates hoping to be Elk Grove's first directly elected mayor presented very different views and campaign strategies Saturday morning.
, a nurse who calls herself an active participant in local government, held a meet-and-greet outside a Starbucks coffee shop on Bruceville Road. She chatted with about a dozen people, handing out business cards and simple fliers outlining her campaign points.
About an hour later, opened a on Laguna Boulevard that he'll share with . Volunteers slapped address labels on colorful mailers, and balloons with a caricature of Davis decorated the entrance.
The differences weren't just superficial: Wheat has pledged not to take campaign contributions, and will limit her election spending to $1,000. Davis has already spent more than that on water bottles and banners.
"We need to have some kind of spending limit, for sure," Wheat said. "The amount of money that needs to be raised is a barrier for some that would like to serve the city."
Davis countered that his campaign is grassroots and "inclusive of a diverse group of people."
Wheat said she would also move to drop the city's bid to expand its Sphere of Influence, .
Supporters praise candidates
At Wheat's meet-and-greet event, residents praised her positions on campaign finance and the Sphere of Influence.
"She's not going to owe a vote to anyone," said Mary Vogt, a former neighbor of hers.
Marielle Tsukamoto, whose family has farmed in the Florin area for years, said the city should focus on helping its existing businesses instead of growing its Sphere of Influence.
"We don't need to expand and take farmland," Tsukamoto said.
At Davis' campaign office opening at 8234 Laguna Blvd., several elected officials and candidates spoke to the crowd of dozens assembled.
Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Nancy Chaires, , said she supports Davis because of his stance on bringing jobs to Elk Grove.
"Now it's time to focus on the things we're missing," Chaires said.
Others in attendance included fellow City Council Member Steve Detrick, Planning Commissioner George Murphey, , and others.
"He needs to be the first elected mayor of the city of Elk Grove and we need him to be the first elected mayor of the city of Elk Grove," State Assembly Member Roger Dickinson said. He pointed across the parking lot: "The people in Leatherby's think they're getting ice cream–we're going to sell them on Gary Davis."