Pleasanton Weekly

Column - November 5, 2010

The Weekly goes to election night parties

by Jeb Bing

When it comes to election night parties, you have to be quick on your feet. I wasn't, arriving at the party Mountain Mike's Pizza was hosting for Mayor Jennifer Hosterman not long after the polls closed Tuesday night only to find the place locked up and the mayor gone. It turns out she had rushed off to SFO to catch a "red eye" flight to Washington, D.C., where she was meeting with a U.S. Conference of Mayors subcommittee that she co-chairs. Talk about confidence. At the time, she was barely ahead in the vote count from her challenger Councilwoman Cindy McGovern and might very well have been the ex-mayor by the time she reached the meeting. Supporters who came too late circled the Raley's parking lot wondering if they had the right address on their party invitation. They deserved at least a note on Mountain Mike's door thanking them for their efforts and stating that the party was over.

Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) also left his party early when the first batch of votes showed him trailing challenger David Harmer, a San Ramon attorney. With conservative and Tea Party candidates winning key races in other parts of the country, McNerney chose to take a break and come back later when the results were known. They still aren't and he never returned, although that didn't bother the several hundred who turned out for the Sheraton Four Points Hotel rally in Pleasanton, including a few TV reporters and cameramen, who helped themselves to an abundance of food and refreshments.

San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson also bowed out of his election night party at ClubSport San Ramon, where our reporter Glenn Wohltmann said more than 70 supporters filled the lobby and ground floor restaurants, which served ample cuisine and refreshments. When he left, Wilson was slightly behind Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) whom he was trying to unseat. The gap increased during the next few hours giving Wohltmann a chance to talk to a much more affable Buchanan when he reached her party at the Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek.

Clearly, the most festive party election night was the one Councilman Jerry Thorne and his wife Sandi held at the Hop Yard Alehouse & Grill in Pleasanton. The large crowd of supporters provided a cake to help the couple celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary as well as Thorne's more than 10,000 votes to lead the council race and ensure his re-election.

Also festive was Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio's party at The Wine Steward on Main Street. A nail-biter race at the start with council candidate Karla Brown a close third for the two council seats available, the mood changed to comfortable smiles as the gap widened. More refreshments and trays of chicken kebobs helped, too.

Pleasanton school board candidates had more subdued parties. Wohltmann, who covers the school board meetings, went to all three. Jeff Bowser, who led the ticket, spent much of his time on his laptop analyzing the various races while supporters partied in the living room. Joan Laursen, who finished close behind and also was elected, poured through pages of precinct reports to see which neighborhoods supported her run. Sandy Piderit, who failed to make the cut, spent the evening pretty much by herself as the vote count continued.

Of course, you don't have to be winners or losers to enjoy a good party. Planning Commissioner Greg O'Connor and his wife Janet have hosted election night parties before, conveying a good neighbor policy toward all. Tuesday night's party was for mayoral candidate and Councilwoman McGovern and council candidate Karla Brown, who fell short in their election bids. Even so, our managing editor Dolores Ciardelli found the party spirit lively with supporters from throughout Pleasanton stopping by with food and refreshments during the evening. Most of them live in different neighborhoods and seldom if ever see each other so the night proved to be a "coming together" of friends of McGovern and Brown who then got to know each other better, making for long-term friendships in the years ahead.


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