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A Look Ahead in Politics

A Look Ahead in Politics

Although 2015 was an off year for politics in a East Bay, it’s transparent that 2016 is moulding adult to be a pivotal one for inaugurated offices via a region. It could symbol a lapse of a reputable East Bay authority to Sacramento, and it could underline dual costly Assembly races, along with a flourishing list of challengers to Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney — and, yes, a lapse of Jean Quan. The Berkeley mayor’s foe is approaching to be a tighten battle, and there will be several contested legislature races in Berkeley, along with contests in San Leandro and Alameda in that progressives could benefit some seats amid flourishing calls to solve a housing crisis.


The foe to reinstate termed-out state Senator Loni Hancock in a East Bay’s Ninth State Senate District will browbeat a Jun primary season. The frontrunners are long-time former Democratic assemblymembers Nancy Skinner and Sandré Swanson, both clever progressives with poignant internal support — Skinner in Berkeley and Swanson in Oakland and Alameda. Hancock’s husband, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, pronounced that while this foe approaching will be tight, he thinks Skinner’s got a edge, in partial given of a outrageous advantage she has in fundraising. “She’s a good campaigner,” pronounced Bates, who is subsidy Skinner. But Swanson has amassed an considerable array of endorsements, including from Hancock.

A wildcard could be newly purebred Democrat Katherine Welch, a state preparation reformer and former Republican. The daughter of former General Electric Chairman Jack Welch competence be means to daub low pockets, not usually from her father’s contacts, nonetheless also from statewide eccentric output groups looking to renovate California’s preparation system. San Pablo Vice Mayor Rich Kinney, a Republican, is also using for a seat. Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan exited a foe in late September.

In a Seventh State Senate District, covering areas in Contra Costa County and a Tri Valley in Alameda County, state Senator Steve Glazer, who won a bruising special choosing final May over Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, is not approaching to face any critical challenge. Many domestic observers believed a rematch was in a cards, nonetheless Bonilla announced in Oct that she would not enter what would have been another costly and formidable election. The foe final open invoked some-more than $7 million in special seductiveness money.

In a Assembly, a infancy of a contests underline obligatory Democrats impending confirmed status. Assemblymembers Rob Bonta of Oakland, Tony Thurmond of Richmond, and Hayward’s Bill Quirk are not approaching to face any convincing challengers. But a same can't be pronounced for 16th Assembly District member Catharine Baker, a usually Republican in a East Bay’s legislative caucus. Last month, effusive Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, a Democrat, recruited former Pleasanton councilmember Cheryl Cook-Kallio, also a Democrat, to face Baker in a assuage outdoor East Bay district. Insiders trust a foe could be impacted by a presidential election. If Republicans elect a conservative candidate, Democrats could spin out in incomparable numbers in this toss-up district.

Bonilla is termed out subsequent year in a 14th Assembly District withdrawal 3 Democrats to conflict for a West Contra Costa County seat. Mae Torlakson, a mother of State Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson, is confronting Concord Mayor Tim Grayson and clinical clergyman Harmesh Kumar.

Congressmembers Barbara Lee and Eric Swalwell are not approaching to face any critical challengers, nonetheless magnanimous Mike Honda will once again block off in a tough foe opposite assuage Ro Khanna.

Alameda County

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley is confronting a potentially clever plea from Bryan Parker, a Port of Oakland commissioner who ran a well-funded debate in 2014 for Oakland mayor. Parker is approaching lift poignant financing for his administrator debate and will give Miley his initial genuine re-election exam given Miley initial won a chair on a house in 2000. Supervisors Scott Haggerty and Keith Carson are also adult for re-election in June, nonetheless challengers are not likely.


In Jan 2015, city councilmembers inaugurated Gibson McElhaney to be legislature boss after she had served usually dual years in office. But of a 4 contested legislature races in Oakland subsequent fall, Gibson McElhaney is so distant a usually obligatory attracting intensity challengers. Former Councilmember Nancy Nadel has indicated that she competence run for a District Three, West Oakland-downtown, seat. Tyron Jordan, a authorised researcher during a state profession general’s office, shaped a debate cabinet in October, and during slightest one of Gibson McElhaney’s opponents in a 2012 debate could enter subsequent year’s race. Some domestic observers consider Gibson McElhaney is exposed given of her reliable lapses, as summarized in a array of Express inquisitive stories late final year and early this year.

Oakland’s At-Large race, however, could finish adult overshadowing a District Three foe — if ex-Mayor Quan decides to plea obligatory Rebecca Kaplan. Kaplan has recently taken a incomparable form in a city, heading a bid to branch gun assault in Oakland. Some trust that she’s disturbed Quan is angling for her seat. In new months, Quan has shown by her monthly newsletters a penetrating seductiveness in charity specific solutions to fight a city’s affordable housing crisis. The intensity blockbuster foe could be hard-fought. In 2014’s mayoral race, Quan kick out Kaplan for first-place votes, nonetheless ranked-choice voting showed Kaplan had incomparable citywide support.

In Fruitvale’s District Five, Councilmember Noel Gallo is not approaching to face any critical challengers, even nonetheless he recently contemplated retirement. East Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid (District Seven) also lifted a probability of retirement this fall, and if he exits a council, his daughter, Treva Reid, is approaching to run for a seat. But Reid’s function during a new legislature cabinet assembly suggests he still has passion for a job; he gave a rousing campaign-like debate about his district’s splendid mercantile future. Councilmember Dan Kalb, District One (North Oakland) appears to be a slightest approaching of a organisation to face critical foe subsequent year.


One of 2016’s closely watched contests in a East Bay will approaching be a foe to reinstate Mayor Bates, who is retiring. Councilmembers Laurie Capitelli and Jesse Arreguín are approaching to rivet in a tight, quarrelsome battle, with a issues of affordable housing and downtown expansion approaching to browbeat a campaign.

Capitelli is an fervent believer of intelligent expansion — unenlightened housing projects built along vital transits lines. He was one of a heading backers of a eighteen-story Harold Way development, that was recently authorized by a legislature and also netted $10.5 million in supports for affordable housing. Arreguín, by contrast, abstained from voting for a Harold Way project, arguing that a developer should have paid even some-more income for affordable housing. Although Arreguín is not a member of a city’s anti-growth contingent, that organisation approaching will support him given he mostly votes opposite or abstains from voting for downtown expansion projects on a drift that they don’t embody adequate affordable housing. Arreguín is also renouned among progressives, in partial given of his advocacy for a city’s homeless population. Bates, who is subsidy Capitelli, pronounced he expects Arreguín to run a clever grassroots campaign, while Capitelli will approaching have large advantage in fundraising.

Another must-watch foe in Berkeley subsequent year will be a one for Capitelli’s District Five (North Berkeley) seat. Capitelli is giving adult his mark to run for mayor, and a foe is approaching to be a two-person foe between Sophie Hahn, an anti-growth romantic who mislaid to Capitelli in 2012 and is a member of a zoning board, and Planning Commission Chair Stephen Murphy, a smart-growth disciple who was allocated to a elect by Capitelli. If Hahn wins, a change of energy on a legislature would change toward a anti-growthers.

And a third engaging foe in Berkeley will be a foe to reinstate on-going councilmember Max Anderson, who is also retiring. The District Three (South Berkeley) foe is approaching to underline formulation commissioners Benjamin Bartlett, who was allocated by Anderson and is corroborated by him, squaring off opposite Deborah Matthews, a smart-growth disciple allocated by Councilmember Darryl Moore.

District Two’s Moore is also adult for reelection, nonetheless is not approaching to face a critical challenge. Councilmember Susan Wengraf is also approaching to journey to reelection, nonetheless there is conjecture that she competence step aside if former state Assembly claimant Elizabeth Echols decides to run for her District Six seat.


Three councilmembers are adult for reelection — Nat Bates, Jael Myrick, and Vinay Pimplé — in Richmond, that has no legislature districts. The Richmond Progressive Alliance, that won 3 legislature seats in 2014, is approaching to run a line-up of possibilities in a hopes of gaining a transparent infancy (although Myrick mostly votes with a on-going bloc).

But Mayor Tom Butt pronounced a genuine wildcard in Richmond is Chevron. Last year, a oil hulk spent some-more than $3 million subsidy Chevron-friendly candidates, nonetheless those possibilities all lost. There’s conjecture that Chevron competence confirm to lay out a 2016 campaign, deliberation a company’s waste final year. But Butt is doubtful that a oil hulk will conflict perplexing to change Richmond’s elections. “It’s usually not in their bones,” he said.


Alameda’s new inability to attract possibilities for a metropolitan elections could continue in 2016. Two seats on a five-member city legislature are adult for grabs. Incumbent Councilmembers Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Tony Daysog are approaching to find re-election. Like Richmond, Alameda uses an at-large choosing complement to select a city council. Although a names of several people meddlesome in using have intermittently surfaced, a many convincing is Malia Vella, an profession employed by a Teamsters who quickly served as Assemblymember Quirk’s district director. In a city in that lease control has turn a hot-button issue, Vella’s intensity candidacy and her early support for restrictions on rents could expostulate a review in this race.

San Leandro

Long-time councilmembers Jim Prola and Ursula Reed are termed out. The early opinion in any foe facilities a span of first-time possibilities with knowledge on a city’s play and commissions. Prola’s District Six chair is a intensity foe between Pete Ballew, a former San Leandro military major and stream member of a crew family board, and Janet Palma, a former zoning commissioner. In District Two, Planning Commissioner Ed Hernandez is confronting Recreation and Parks Commissioner Bryan Azevedo, who has kinship ties and has already captivated early support from stream councilmembers. No critical challenger has stepped adult nonetheless to face obligatory District Four councilmember Benny Lee.

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