In the newly-aligned 15th Congressional District that covers all of Pleasanton, longtime Congressman Pete Stark advanced to November's general election in Tuesday's "top two" primary but is facing stiff competition from Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell in his bid to retain his seat.
In the District 4/Pleasanton Board of Supervisors race, incumbent Nate Miley easily defeated challenger Tojo Thomas, receiving 72% of the vote to keep his seat n the Alameda County board.
In the cngressional contest, Stark (D-Fremont) has represented the 13th Congressional District since 1973, but is running this year in the newly redrawn 15th District.
Swalwell is a Democrat who also works as a prosecutor in Alameda County. Losing out for a chance to compete in November was Christopher Pareja, an independent businessman from Hayward.
Stark received about 42% of the vote, compared to 36% for Swalwell and 22% for Pareja, according to unofficial election results early today.
Tuesday's congressional and state races were the first in California to be decided by a nonpartisan primary that sends the top two finishers, regardless of political party, to a runoff election in November. The new system was approved by voters in June 2010.
Sales Tax Measures
Also, in a sales tax referendum that could have an impact on Alameda County's Measure B, a sales tax revenue measure on the November ballot, voters in the city of Alameda have rejected a half-cent sales tax measure that would have brought in revenue to pay for public safety services and cultural facilities.
Measure C, which would have increased the city's sales tax to 9.25%, garnered support from just over 50% of voters -- far short of the two-thirds majority it needed to pass.
Proponents had argued that the estimated $2 million annually that the tax would bring in would keep Alameda safe by allowing it to modernize its responses to 911 emergency calls, replace a condemned fire station, repair three aging fire stations and create a citywide emergency operations center. They said the tax would also help pay to rebuild unsafe facilities such as the Carnegie Library and the city's swim center.
But opponents said the higher sales tax would hurt local businesses because people would shop in other cities to save money, and that the measure lacked specific guidelines for how and when the money would be spent.
Parcel Tax measures
Still, in Dublin and other parts of Alameda County, voters approved two parcel tax measures and a bond measure for schools.
Dublin Unified School District voters handily approved Measure E, a bond measure to replace aging classrooms and improve operational efficiency. The initiative needed 55% support to pass, and won 62% of the vote.
Measure B, a parcel tax measure for the Peralta Community College
District, surpassed the two-thirds support it needed, garnering 72% of the vote.
In the Hayward Unified School District, voters approved Measure G, another parcel tax measure that proponents said will fund classroom programs and help attract and retain teachers. The measure received 70% support, according to unofficial results.
However, voters rejected a third parcel tax measure in the New Haven Unified School District.
Pension reform measures also passed in San Jose, drawing national attention and likely to have an impact on cities including Pleasanton where pension costs for municipal employees are top priorities for candidates in the city's November mayoral and council elections.
San Jose's much-debated pension reform Measure B passed with 70& approval on Tuesday, marking a major victory for Mayor Chuck Reed, who has been watched nationally for his attempts to rein in retirement costs.
Reed expressed cautious optimism about the measure's passage on
Tuesday night, as results were still being tallied.
"It's going great, and it's good news for the people of San Jose," he said.
Tom Saggau, a union political consultant, said Measure B's passage would be swiftly followed by legal action by the city employee unions.
Among the changes contained in Measure B, new employees would pay 50% of pension costs, while current employees would be given the option to choose a lower-cost plan or pay more for their current one.
According to Saggau, that amounts to the city walking away from a contract it made with employees.
"It's absolutely unconstitutional ... we're going to court very shortly to litigate over Measure B," Saggau said.
The measure would also give the City Council the right to temporarily suspend retiree cost-of-living adjustments during fiscal emergencies and would require voter approval for any future increases in retirement benefits.
Reed has said the city's retirement costs have tripled in the last decade and now cost the city $245 million per year.