Sonoita Resident Throws Her Hat in the Ring for County Office

“If you aren’t going to do something about it, don’t complain!” is the mantra of Donna Federici, Independent candidate for Santa Cruz County Supervisor for District 3.

A resident of the Sonoita/Elgin area, Federici has decided to indeed “do something about it” and with the support of her husband, Dave Ciesielski, is running against the current district 3 county supervisor, Bruce Bracker.

Noting that the Sonoita, Elgin, Patagonia part of the county is being under-represented and with the many complaints Federici has heard about the current situation, she vows that she will work tirelessly for change in the way ‘things have always been done.’

The daughter of a blue collar, Midwestern steel worker family, Federici has been schooled in the importance of hard work from her early years. She has been successful in middle and upper management and was most recently self-employed as a business consultant before moving to Sonoita in 2008.

She feels she has the vision and creativity to steer the county in a more fiscally responsible way. Not one to point fingers at the past leaders, Federici wants to be more solution oriented and find ways for the county to expand while being more creative in finding ways to relieve the current fiduciary challenges.

When asked about the local Fire Department salaries, Federici stated that since we live in such a fire prone area the fire department is especially indispensable, and the budget must reflect that. However, the salaries must be studied, and any discrepancies or unfairness addressed and corrected. 

Federici stated that our local schools reflect the lack of younger families in the area. She would like to offer ideas on how to keep families here. Agri-tourism is one of her thoughts as a way to offer jobs for local residents. Finding other ways to promote our natural resources with opportunities to market the hiking, biking and activities around the lakes was another idea addressed, keeping in mind that businesses should be mindful of the water availability in the long term.

Bringing back the courthouse and the storage of road maintenance equipment is something that Federici discussed. She stated that local committees have filed paperwork to obtain the financial results of that decision made by managers in Nogales. She stated that an ‘all or nothing’ approach is not the answer and would like to introduce a part-time solution to the court in Sonoita. Change starts in Nogales and working with the managers there will be another part of her function should she be elected. If the courthouse is not deemed necessary as such, using it as a community center is another option.

“The position as county supervisor should not be a partisan issue!” stated Federici, as it is “for the community and its residents and the money belongs to the people”.  This is why she is running as an Independent. Federici is a fiscal conservative and a compassionate advocate for the community and willing to ‘rock the boat’ for economic reform. 

When asked how she plans on getting her name out there, Federici stated that she will knock on doors, use social media and ask for help to canvas for her as an independent candidate. She is currently building a website. She can be contacted at