Stark, Swalwell win in primary, face each other again in November | June 8, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - June 8, 2012

Stark, Swalwell win in primary, face each other again in November

Miley defeats challenger with 72% of vote to keep supervisor's post

by Jeb Bing

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 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 on the Alameda County board.

At the same time, Democrat Joan Buchanan received 56.5% of the votes against the 43.5% for her challenger Republican Este "Al" Phillips III among all votes cast in the primary vote for the new 16th District in the State Assembly, which now covers all of Pleasanton. The two will meet again on the November ballot.

In the congressional 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 Wednesday.

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.

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 rejected a half-cent sales tax measure that would have brought in revenue to pay for public safety services and cultural facilities.

Parcel tax measures fared better. In the 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.

All eyes were on a pension reform measure that passed in San Jose, drawing both national attention and already having an impact the upcoming municipal elections in Pleasanton in November.

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.

--Bay City News contributed to this report.


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