Twin Rivers Special Election Marred by Controversy

BY ROBYN EIFERTSEN
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Sonja Cameron

Sonja Cameron

Basim Elkarra

Basim Elkarra

The deadline to register to vote in a special Twin Rivers Unified school board election has been overshadowed by new controversy.

Twin Rivers’ Area 5 school board race between candidates Sonja Cameron and Basim Elkarra heated up this week with the circulation of an anonymous political flyer alleging one candidate has ties to terrorism.

The two are set to square off on May 12. The last day to register to vote in the special election is Wednesday, April 27, according to the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters. The final day to request a mail-in ballot is May 5.

Elkarra and Cameron are vying to represent an area which includes the diverse North Natomas and Robla communities.

Elkarra said someone is using “dirty politics” to try to tie his workplace to terrorism. He is executive director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations for the Sacramento Valley region.

Cameron, who works as chief operations officer at the Pacific Charter Institute’s Heritage Peak Charter School, located within the Twin Rivers district, could not be reached for comment.

Twin Rivers’ Area 5 school board seat became vacant in October 2014 when board member Cortez Quinn resigned.

In December, Quinn was sentenced to serve one year in the Sacramento County jail. Cortez had pleaded no contest to obstructing justice in a paternity case and for taking unauthorized gifts and loans from a Twin Rivers employee.

In December, the district’s school board appointed now-candidate Cameron to fill Cortez’ position.

But since the board bypassed a public comment process, groups including the Democratic Party of Sacramento County petitioned that a special election be held to fill the seat.

Sacramento County schools Superintendent David Gordon approved the request in January.

On election day, May 12, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


For election information and mail-in ballot requests visit the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters website at www.elections.saccounty.net or call (916) 875-6451.