San Ramon mayor to officially enter AD15 race

San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson will announce his plans to seek the Republican nomination in Assembly District 15 at a June 18 fundraiser. He hopes to succeed Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-San Ramon, who terms out next year.

Wilson will also be running his re-election campaign for mayor, which will take place in November of this year, and join the growing numbers of candidates who are seeking more than one office at the same time.

The multi-race phenomenon has surfaced due to an initiative on the February 2008 presidential primary ballot that would loosen term limits and allow incumbents who were scheduled to term out next year to seek re-election.

There’s no telling if it will pass. Opponents have already filed a lawsuit challenging its language, although they lost the first court round today after a judge declared the summary and title legal. U.S. Term Limits spokesman Kevin Spillane says his organization will appeal the decision.

But the uncertainty has left incumbents and would-be challengers with a conundrum.

Houston has said he will seek re-election to his Assembly seat if the voters allow it. In the meantime, he’s contemplating a run for congressional District 11.

Sen. Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, has said he will run for his senate seat, too. But if that doesn’t happen, he’ll run for his old Assembly District 11 seat (he only served two of the three terms allowed) and he’s raising money for his 2010 bid for state superintendent of schools.

The incumbent in District 11, Mark DeSaulnier of Concord, will run for Torlakson’s senate seat, unless, of course, his friend decides to keep it. In that case, DeSaulnier will run for re-election in the Assembly.

Got that all down?

Abrams is the 10th candidate to enter the AD15 contest but most view him as the frontrunner among the Republicans due to his political experience and higher name recognition. Click here for a link to the Secretary of State’s web page for the full candidate list.

But he’s getting a late start despite the fact that the election is still a year away. Republicans Judy Biviano Lloyd, Scott Kamena and Robert Rao have been working the race for months.

“I had hoped to wait until after February but my supporters have been asking me to declare one way or the other because they are under pressure from my opponents,” Wilson said late Friday.

He may be running two campaigns but Wilson says he’s 200 percent committed to both the city and the Assembly.

He said he would work hard to ensure that critical city programs, such as the new city hall, are well under way before he potentially leaves for Sacramento in January 2009. That’s a year before his mayoral term ends, if he’s re-elected in November.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen