Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti formally announced his candidacy for the 16th State Assembly District this month as a Democrat.
Current representative, Joan Buchanan of Alamo, is termed out in 2014 and is thought likely to run for state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier’s seat when he is termed out in 2016.
Sbranti had hired well-regarded campaign consultants earlier this year and announced his formal entry along with a slew of endorsements, including fellow Democrats Buchanan and DeSaulnier.
His former boss, state schools chief Tom Torlakson, also backed him as did Alameda County Supervisors Nate Miley and Scott Haggerty who together represent the Alameda County cities in the 16th district. Sbranti worked on Torlakson’s staff when he was in the Assembly.
Joining the list were Pleasanton Councilwoman and long-time teacher Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern, state Sen. Loni Hancock and Sbranti’s former council colleague, Congressman Eric Swalwell. Swalwell knocked off octogenarian Pete Stark in 2012, taking full advantage of the open primary and Stark being out-of-touch (to put it mildly) with district residents. Swalwell is working hard to maintain momentum.
Last Friday he was at a PTA advocacy event in San Ramon after attending an early-morning prayer breakfast in Fremont. Pete might have done that early in the 1970s while seeking re-election, although the prayer breakfast would have been well beyond the self-avowed atheist’s comfort zone.
Back to Sbranti: Tim has taught at Dublin High for 15 years. That, coupled with his work statewide on the California Teachers Association’s as its political chair, likely means aggressive support from the teachers’ union, both statewide and locally.
That leaves another potential candidate, Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich, looking for support from other quarters should he decide to jump into the race. Arnerich, who owns his own architecture firm, would bring private sector experience and likely will not have to deal with the perception of being too cozy with public employee unions. That matters in some areas—see Pleasanton—but whether it matters across an Assembly district is an open question.