The primary election candidate list is becoming clearer, as the initial nomination deadline passed Friday afternoon to qualify for the March 2020 ballot.
Highlights in contests to represent the Tri-Valley in local, state or federal offices include six challengers for U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore), five candidates for three full terms on the Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors, and opponents for both of the area's state legislators.
The four candidates who early on announced their campaigns to succeed retiring Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty confirmed their intentions by qualifying for the ballot -- although the candidacy nomination period for that race was extended five days, to this Wednesday at 5 p.m., because the incumbent did not file to run for re-election.
The challengers for Supervisorial District 1, which includes Livermore, Dublin, Sunol and Fremont, each currently hold another elected office: Fremont City Councilman Vinnie Bacon, Dublin Mayor David Haubert, Dublin Vice Mayor Melissa Hernandez and State Sen. Bob Wieckowski, a Fremont resident who is being termed out at the state level.
Haggerty, who is from Livermore, set the stage for a hotly contested election when he announced in June that he would not seek re-election, retiring from public service after his current term to cap 24 years in office.
Any candidate could win the District 1 position outright in the primary election if they earn more than 50% of the vote. If no one wins a majority in March, then the top two finishers would advance to a runoff to be held during the general election on Nov. 3.
Pleasanton's seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is also up for election.
District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley is running for a sixth consecutive term against lone challenger Esther Goolsby, an environmental community organizer from Oakland. In addition to Pleasanton, the district includes East Oakland, Montclair, Castro Valley, Ashland, Cherryland, Fairview and El Portal Ridge.
A third Board of Supervisors seat is on the ballot as well. Incumbent Supervisor Keith Carson is facing off against Albany City Councilman Nick Pilch for District 5, which represents Berkeley, parts of Oakland and other areas.
Pleasanton residents, like peers in Livermore and Dublin, will get the chance to vote on three regular, four-year seats on the Zone 7 board -- that's in addition to a special two-year position on the board that was vacated midterm. All Zone 7 seats are at-large and will be decided outright in March.
Five candidates qualified for the election for the three regular board positions: incumbent directors Sandy Figuers, Angela Ramirez Holmes and Dick Quigley, as well as challengers Hugh Bussell (a technical writer who lost to Swalwell as a Republican challenger for the House in 2014) and water resources engineer Laurene Green, who applied for the board's midterm vacancy in May but was not appointed.
The lone candidate to file for the special two-year term was Zone 7 Director Michelle Smith McDonald. She is currently serving in that seat by short-term appointment, after the board selected her in May from among a group of applicants after former director Bill Stevens stepped down. Because it is uncontested, that position is not expected to appear on the March ballot.
Pleasanton residents have the chance to vote on their representatives in the State Assembly, State Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, although those races won't be decided for good until the general election. The top two finishers in the primary election will advance to an automatic runoff in November.
Swalwell, a seeking a fifth consecutive term in Congress, had six challengers file for the ballot, including three fellow Democrats -- Samantha Campbell, a Union City native who works for New Haven Unified School District; Austin E. Intal, a sales and real estate professional from Hayward; and Tuan Phan, a biochemist from Castro Valley.
Two Republicans filed for Congressional District 15 -- Peter Yuan Liu of San Lorenzo and Alison Hayden, a special education teacher whose city of residence is not listed. Don J. Grundmann, a chiropractor running without a party preference, rounds out the candidate list.
None of Swalwell's challengers appear to have previous elected experience.
State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) faces two candidates on the March ballot: Democrat Marisol Rubio, a scientific research and health care provider from San Ramon, and Republican Julie Mobley, who is listed as a community volunteer.
State Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) is being challenged by Republican Joseph Rubay, who lost a bid to unseat Glazer in 2016.
Pleasanton voters will also decide a $323 million bond measure for Pleasanton Unified School District in March -- 55% approval needed for passage.
Other Tri-Valley ballot measures in March include a $290 million bond for Dublin Unified School District (55% approval needed), a referendum in Livermore on the city's downtown hotel development agreement (majority wins) and a referendum in Danville on the Magee Preserve residential project (majority wins).
For Alameda County Superior Court Department 2, the three candidates so far are trial attorney Elena Condes, civil rights attorney Mark Fickes and administrative law judge Lilla Julia Szelenyi. The filing deadline has been extended to Wednesday with the incumbent not on the ballot.
The other 30 Alameda County Superior Court judgeships due for re-election saw only the incumbents file, which is common. Those positions will not appear on the ballot.
There are four seats on the Alameda County Board of Education due for election in March, but none of those districts include Pleasanton.
Pleasanton voters will also have their say in the U.S. presidential primary election. Neither of California's two U.S. Senate seats are due up for election in 2020.