On the back side of Bodega Head last month, Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins was laboring with a large wooden sign that had seen better days. Hopkins, who represents the county’s entire 76-mile coast, spotted the downed sign near the protected shore of Campbell Cove, where small waves pushed and pulled it back and forth on the sand. The sign declared the beach an ecological study area, and warned visitors against digging in the important research zone. Hopkins dragged it 20 yards to an embankment, and with a series of grunts, hauled it up to a concrete picnic table before dusting the sand and muck from her hands. “Old habits die hard, I guess,” she said with a laugh. Five years ago, Hopkins was a political newcomer in her first run for elected office against a better-known opponent, former state Sen. Noreen Evans. But Hopkins, a former journalist and organic farmer, made inroads with voters by digging in on local issues and being quick to lend a hand. On the campaign trail, she helped clear trash from west county waterways, and in her first weeks in office, she donned rubber boots to survey historic flooding along some of those same streams. When Hopkins sees a problem, even if it’s not clearly hers, she wants to fix it. The instinct helped her get elected to represent the sprawling 5th District, stretching from Sebastopol to The Sea Ranch. It’s a central thread running through many of the high-profile wins she has […]