Pleasanton Weekly

News - October 29, 2010

Multiple districts mean different ballots here

City has 2 congressmen, 3 assembly members

by Jeb Bing

Pleasanton voters will go to the polls Tuesday along with others across the country, but with some differences in the candidates they're considering for a city this size.

This city has three state Assembly districts, where most have only one, and two congressional districts.

Most of Pleasanton falls within the 11th Congressional District, where two-term Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) is seeking re-election against his Republican challenger, attorney David Harmer of San Ramon.

But for voters in northwest Pleasanton who have no doubt been following the media frenzy over the McNerney-Harmer race, when they vote they'll find different names on the ballot.

That's because they're in the 13th Congressional District that's been represented by Pete Stark (D-Fremont) for the last 38 years. He's being challenged by Forest Baker, a virtual political unknown who defeated the Republican Party's favorite candidate Luis "Coach" Garcia in the June primary.

Since the 13th District covers such a small sliver of Pleasanton, constituents here seldom see Stark. Baker has done no campaigning here.

The state Assembly districts are more significant, although the 15th, where the political battle is taking place, accounts for about 15% of the city on the northeast side. In a repeat of their 2008 contest, San Ramon's Republican Mayor Abram Wilson is challenging 15th District Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo).

Two other state assembly districts cover more of Pleasanton. Voters in the 18th, represented by Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Castro Valley), will see her name on the ballot seeking re-election to a third term in the Assembly, which, because of term limits, will also be her last. Her Republican challenger is Michael Havig, 21, a college student.

In the 20th State Assembly District, which covers most of Pleasanton east of downtown and including Ruby Hill, Fremont Vice Mayor Bob Wieckowski is the Democratic candidate to succeed three-term Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, who is termed out. Wieckowski's Republican challenger is Adrian Shahab.

All voters in Pleasanton will have a chance to choose the next mayor. Mayor Jennifer Hosterman is seeking her fourth and final term against challenger and Councilwoman Cindy McGovern. Seeking the two seats available on the City Council are incumbent council members Cheryl Cook-Kallio and Jerry Thorne, being challenged by Realtor Karla Brown and Open Heart Kitchen administrator Fred Watson.

Voters in the Pleasanton Unified School District can select two of three candidates seeking election to the school board: Jeff Bowser, Joan Laursen or Sandy Piderit. Board members Pat Kernan and Jim Ott are stepping down this year.


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