Local candidate list for June primary rounding into shape

Swalwell, Baker, O'Malley facing challengers; Zone 7 candidacy deadline extended

Last Friday marked the initial deadline for candidates hoping to win election to various positions on the June 5 primary ballot for Pleasanton.

Races such as U.S. Congressional District 15, State Assembly District 16 and Alameda County District Attorney are set, while the contests for Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors, Alameda County Assessor and Alameda County Auditor-Controller/Clerk-Recorder had their candidacy deadline extended after incumbents chose not to seek re-election.

Zone 7 Water Agency had four candidates file for the election by the deadline Friday, but because incumbent Jim McGrail didn't file, the candidacy deadline is extended until this Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Those in the race so far are incumbents John Greci Jr., Bill Stevens and Sarah Palmer, along with retired Zone 7 water engineer Dennis Gambs. All four are Livermore residents.

Pleasanton resident Olivia Sanwong, a member of the city's Economic Vitality Committee and former City Council candidate, has also pulled nomination papers but had not filed her candidacy as of early Monday afternoon.

McGrail, a Livermore attorney and businessman who is wrapping up his first term on the Zone 7 board, has not responded to inquiries about why he is not seeking re-election.

If Sanwong, or any other interested candidate, doesn't jump into the race by Wednesday's deadline, Zone 7 would have four candidates for four open board seats. That would mean the Zone 7 board could choose to appoint all candidates in lieu of holding an election -- or the board could keep the election on the ballot, leaving the door open for write-in candidates.

Pleasanton's Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) will face two Tri-Valley challengers in his bid for a fourth straight term: Rudy L. Peters Jr., a Republican small business owner and U.S. Navy veteran from Livermore, and Pleasanton resident Brendan St. John, a medical marketing executive running without party preference.

The top two finishers will face each other in a runoff election in November.

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-Dublin) is running for her third consecutive term. She will be challenged by a lone Democrat, Orinda attorney Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, who filed her candidacy paperwork on the deadline day last Friday.

Democrat Tom Tarantino, a Walnut Creek resident and an Army veteran, also took out candidacy papers but bowed out of the race and threw his support behind Bauer-Kahan last week.

Because Baker and Bauer-Kahan are the only two candidates in the race, they will see each other again on the November ballot regardless of how many votes each receives in June.

In Alameda County contests, District Attorney Nancy O'Malley is being challenged by Oakland civil rights attorney Pamela Price. Another prospective candidate, Frederick Remer, pulled nomination papers but did not complete the filing process before the deadline.

The Assessor's Office and Auditor-Controller/Clerk-Recorder's Office are set to have new officeholders after the incumbents didn't file for re-election. That also means the candidacy filing period for those two positions are extended until Wednesday afternoon.

With Assessor Ron Thomsen retiring after 18 years at the helm, Jim Johnson (chief of the department's Assessment Services Division) is the lone candidate to file paperwork thus far -- though Fremont resident John Weed has taken out nomination papers too.

Thomsen, a Castro Valley resident who climbed the ranks in the department since first being hired there in the 1970s, said the time was right to step away when his current term expires at the end of the year.

"We've come a long way ... With technology, we've been able to make enhancements and improvements to what we do," Thomsen said, also praising the work of his "great employees" over the years.

Chief deputy auditor Melissa Wilk and auditor/accountant Irella Christina Blackwood have entered the contest to succeed Auditor-Controller/Clerk-Recorder Steve Manning, who is not running for re-election.

Three other countywide officials won't face challengers in their re-election bid: Sheriff-Coroner Gregory Ahern, Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe and Treasurer-Tax Collector Henry "Hank" Levy.

The county will see one Alameda County Superior Court judgeship contested this June, with Judge Tara Flanagan challenged by retired public defender Karen Katz. The other 24 judgeships up for re-election this summer went unchallenged and will not appear on the ballot.

Pleasanton resident Yvonne Cerrato, who represents Pleasanton and the rest of District 7 on the Alameda County Board of Education, will not face any challengers in her bid for a fifth term in office.

The District 7 seat, which includes Pleasanton, will not appear on the June ballot, nor will the District 4 seat for which incumbent Aisha Knowles of Castro Valley is unchallenged. The District 1 seat will be contested between two Berkeley residents, incumbent Joaquin Rivera and challenger Abdur Rahman Sikder.

Pleasanton's Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley is not up for re-election this year, but two of his board colleagues are. District 2 Supervisor Richard Valle and District 3 Supervisor Wilma Chan each filed for re-election with no challengers.

The June primary will also feature higher offices such as U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General and state Board of Equalization. Additionally, there will be a variety of state propositions, bond measures and Regional Measure 3, the proposed Bay Area bridge toll increase to fund traffic congestion relief projects.


6 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 12, 2018 at 7:22 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I am going to bed tonight with a nice start for my dream.

That would be the 15TH. Congressional District primary election results becomes a run off between the top two vote getters.

Brendan St. John and Rudy L. Peters.

What a nice thought.

5 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 12, 2018 at 7:59 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

If you wish to make this dream a reality, you may want to move far enough east to leave the district. That’s the only way Swalwell won’t be your representative.

That’s life in a democracy for you.

10 people like this
Posted by Andrew Lewis
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 13, 2018 at 9:18 am


4 people like this
Posted by Dp
a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 13, 2018 at 11:17 pm

I’ll first consider candidates who don’t wrap themselves with party flags, or anyone who’s not D or R.

3 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 14, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

I agree with Dp's sentiment but also recognize the reality of party affiliation for campaign resource support. My vote always goes to the person most in the middle, prioritizing fiscal sustainability over social progressiveness when push comes to shove.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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