Brian Rogers may be running for a nonpartisan office — the District 1 seat on the Oakland school board, against Jody London and Tennessee Reed – but his Republican party affiliation has hardly been a non-issue.
The Oakland public school parents Yahoo! group has lit up in recent weeks with debates on Rogers’ politics, knee-jerk reactions to those politics, his endorsement by Jerry Brown and his large donation to Mitt Romney (who is a proponent of private school vouchers, according to his Web site).
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that our politics are similar,” Rogers told me today, about Romney. “I just felt he was a good candidate for many reasons.”
Rogers, an heir to the Dreyers ice cream fortune and a philanthropist, says he hopes people will look beyond his political party. “I’d rather have people judge me on what I’ve done and what I continue to do for Oakland schools,” he said.
Will they, and should they?
Dick Spees, a Republican who served on the Oakland City Council, managed to get himself elected in the largely Democratic city.
Who else has done so?