Audie Bock, for those who don’t remember, rode a wave of falling dominoes (or were they musical chairs) into the state Assembly in 1999. That is, when Ron Dellums resigned from the House mid-term, and then-state-Senator Barbara Lee ran to replace him in a special election, and then-Assemblyman Don Perata ran for the state Senate to replace her, Bock won that Assembly seat.
It was an odd win – she’d not done very well in the initial special election but no candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote, so she ended up in a runoff with Democratic former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris. Harris then proceeded to get into hot water by promising free fried chicken to voters who presented voting stubs at a local market — widely seen as killing two birds (vote-buying and implicit racism) with one stone — and Bock edged him out for a win in the March 1999 showdown, 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent.
But the Greens didn’t have much time to savor their first-ever win in the California Legislature, one of their best wins nationwide; in 2000 Bock incurred the party’s wrath by accepting campaign contributions from oil companies. She proceeded to drop her party affiliation and run for re-election as an independent; Democrat Wilma Chan cleaned her clock, 67 percent to 22 percent, that November.
Her political philosophy apparently still evolving, she then became a registered Democrat, and decided to run against Barbara Lee in the 2002 primary, claiming Lee’s lone vote against the use of force immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks had been unpatriotic. But with Lee’s support clearly apparent, Bock withdrew before the filing deadline for the race.
And in 2003, she was one of the 135 candidates who ran to replace Gray Davis in the gubernatorial recall election, urging her fellow Democrats to recall the Democratic governor. She came in 22nd, with 3,358 votes.
Why am I telling you all this? Because Audie Bock filed today with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters to run in November’s election for a two-year term on the board of the Hayward Area Recreation & Park District. I didn’t realize she’d moved out of Piedmont, but sure enough, I see she’s listed in Hayward now.