Thurmond ponders state senate bid

Tony Thurmond (Photo by DailyCal)

Freshman West Contra Costa school board member Tony Thurmond tells my colleague Kimberly Wetzel that he may run for state Senate. (Click here for her story today.)

“Although there are no elections coming up, Thurmond said he filed pre-emptively in the event that current 7th District state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, wins a special election to fill U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s seat,” Wetzel wrote.

Tauscher, D-Alamo, is expected to be named undersecretary for arms control and international security at the U.S. State Department. She has not yet resigned her current post and it is unknown when the U.S. Senate will take up her confirmation.

DeSaulnier is one of a handful of Democrats who have indicated they will run for Tauscher’s seat

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    The way things are going, I think it would be a good idea for the CC Times to bankroll Lisa V. for the State Senate. She would gain valuable insights to make her reporting even more timely.

  • Mike F

    What is Mr. Thurmond’s real job? City Council and School Board memberships are not occupations. How does he assert that he is best qualified when all he stated is it can allow him to “fight for education in a bigger arena.” If he cares so much about public education at the big arena, then he should run for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Here comes another professional politician trying to get the jump on other professional politicians that will say they’ve paid their dues ahead of Mr. Thurmond.

  • Greetings Mike F. Thanks for your inquiry. As to your question about my real job… I serve as a manager of a social work agency that serves people with disabilities.

    If there turns out to be an open seat in the 7th Senate District and I run, I will leave it to the voters to determine whether or not I bear the best qualifications to represent them. If I run I hope the voters will consider my service as a former city council member and as a school board member, and also consider my fifteen years of experience in managing nonprofit agencies focused on serving at-risk youth, improving education, and revitalizing blighted communities. My goal in running would be to apply these experiences towards improving the overall quality of life for all people in the 7th Senate District.

    Drop me an e-mail at tony@tonythurmond.com. I look forward to an opportunity to hear other questions or feedback you may have for me and to have a fuller conversation than this blog space allows. Best.

  • Arne Simonsen

    Sadly, the majority of nonprofit agencies are constantly at the government trough for their funding.

    What we need in SD-7 is a candidate from either party who comes from the private sector and understands the needs of small businesses.

  • Mr. Simonsen:

    You are correct that non-profit agencies depend heavily on government dollars (as well as private dollars from corporations, foundations, and individuals) to provide their services. The flip side is that most non profits provide a great return on investment for the dollars provided by government and other sources.

    Consider for example that nonprofit agencies that serve people with developmental disabilities save the State of California millions of dollars every year by helping people with disabilities live in their own homes in the community as opposed to living in costly institutions paid for by the taxpayers. This has also allowed those served to live independently and with dignity.

    By the way I am working on a fundraising effort to support homeless families in Contra Costa County. Give me a call if you would be interested in working on that with our team, (510) 681-4127. While you and I have never met I have always respected you as a public servant (even though I did not agree with some of your views), and would love to work with you on efforts to support the people and families of Contra Costa County. Enjoy a great Fourth of July Holiday!


  • NR_Sandman

    As a Richmond resident I’ve been watching Mr. Thurman’s actions align with his words for a long time. He is exactly who we need in a leadership role.

    I support you Tony as well as the vast majority of the North Richmond Community. We personally would prefer to see you represent the District 1 supervisor seat. Mister may be too green. The community here is routinely ignored by Gioia, when it comes to what the community is asking for loudly…crickets from Gioia.

    Micro management of a community never works, Gioia made a law revoking the community’s right to choose its own previously elected MAC members. HE now appoints the people he chooses ( nepotism 101 ). HE routinely politically submarines numerous community related programs and person just because he doesn’t control it…Boss Gioia ha ha

    He also blatently re-routes community money to county salaries, while openly directing contracts to pet favorites ( CHDC )…Here’s a tip Tony, can you say “forensic audit?”

    We are organizing, we have a coalition of over 75 residents currently, and we are growing daily, fed on a steady diet of dissatisfaction with business as usual

    Please Please… North Richmond MAC 5 pm 7-14-09 come hear the cry for CHANGE for yourself!!!, We will be presenting our signed petitions.

  • Arne Simonsen

    Tony,I’ve followed your career on the Richmond City Council as well and wbile we may disagree with solutions to problems, I’ve always considered you to be an effective councilman.

    Like you, I’ve worked with Opportunity Junction (fka OPTIC) to provide training and counseling to low income women and men to get back into the workforce and become independent.

    I’ve also been working with the Rev. John Anderson of the Bay Area Rescue Mission (right in your backyard) for the past 3 years to bring a shelter to Antioch for homeless women with children. And I find it interesting, that I, as a Republican have been championing this effort and getting nosupport from my Democrat Council Members – so much for Reoublicans being ‘heartless’.

    We probably have more in common that some might think, so I’ll give you a call this week.


  • NR_Sandman: Thanks for the support. As for the County Supervisor seat. With all due respect for your concerns I want to let you know that I am in full support of John Gioia’s re-election. He is a mentor, colleague, and friend and I have learned a great deal from him about how to be a good public servant.

    That said I am not dismissing your concerns about the North Richmond MAC. I can’t make the meeting on July 14th due to an out of town commitment but I hope you will invite me to a future meeting. I also hope you will raise your concerns directly with John as well.

    I look forward to speaking with you in the near future and a chance to learn more about your concerns and how together we all can best serve the people of North Richmond and others throughout Contra Costa County.

  • Arne:

    Thanks for the note. I would love to work with you on your work to support the Bay Area Rescue Mission.