On Sunday, we published our endorsement of Petaluma City Councilman Mike Healy for the 2nd District seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. Today, we have posted our endorsement of Windsor City Councilwoman Debora Fudge for the 4th District seat.

We recognize that these recommendations will be controversial for one reason or another, but they were not made lightly. They followed 45-minute interviews with all six of the supervisorial candidates and extensive discussions by the members of The Press Democrat Editorial Board about their backgrounds, voting histories and plans for office.

As noted in our editorial Sunday, we gave preference to those candidates we felt would be in the best position to deal with the mounting problems facing the county –  including a $61 million budget deficit, 11 percent unemployment and, as noted in today’s paper, a growing problem with pension obligations. (Due to investment losses, county taxpayers will now have to pony up an additional $8.3 million by mid-2011 to meet the county’s commitment to 8,000 retired and current employees.)

We’re interested in hearing your reaction. Do you agree? Were we too easy on Healy and Fudge and /or too hard on the other candidates? What do you think we missed that voters should know?

We’re still interviewing other candidates and trying to roll out other election-related editorials before absentee ballots go out at the start of next week. But we will try to respond when we can.

–          Paul Gullixson