Kucinich to attend San Mateo County straw poll

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich so far is the only candidate actually scheduled to attend the first-ever San Mateo County Democratic Presidential Straw Poll, but some notable proxies are lining up to stand in for other candidates.

Former state Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, will represent Hillary Clinton; former state Controller Steve Westly will represent Barack Obama; and Lynn Mosier will represent her father, Mike Gravel, at the event set for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21 in Oak Hall at the San Mateo County Event Center, 2495 S. Delaware St. in San Mateo. A ticket costs $25 (children under 18 enter free) with proceeds to benefit the San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee.

County Democratic chairman Andrew Byrnes says he’s expecting at least 1,000 attendees — “which is a conservative estimate” — making it the largest gathering ever of Democratic activists in San Mateo County. He says he sees it as “a two-fer,” building the county party’s 2008 war chest while also mobilizing local volunteers for the presidential campaigns.

“It’s such a solid, exciting field this cycle,” he said. “I’m undecided on the race because once I try to move toward one candidate, I end up thinking, ‘Gosh, these others are so great, too.’ ”

Byrnes noted he’s actively working with other Democratic presidential campaigns to arrange candidates’ or proxies’ attendance. Meanwhile, organizers are reaching out to Bay Area Democrats through the local netroots, and among local bloggers scheduled to cover the event live are Dave Johnson of Seeing the Forest; Mary Ratcliff of the Left Coaster and Pacific Views; and Glennia Campbell of Silicon Valley Moms Blog.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.