Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 2 candidate Nadia Lockyer today announced she has the endorsement of Deborah Roderick Stark, whom she described as “a nationally recognized expert in child and family policy” and a First Five Alameda County Commission member.
“As a mother, former adult caregiver, and someone who deals with families everyday as the Executive Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, Nadia understands the needs of families and what it takes to keep communities healthy. Nadia Lockyer will be a voice for the children and families of Alameda County when she will serve on the Board of Supervisors, representing the people of District 2,” Stark said in the news release.
The news release delves deeper into both women’s professional bona fides, but doesn’t mention that Lockyer, 38, is the wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, 68, or that Stark, 43, is the wife of Rep. Pete Stark, 78.
The question is: should it?
On one hand, Lockyer might be trying to campaign only on her own qualifications, which seems admirable; on the other hand, her husband’s long political career indisputably enhances her name recognition and political connections. Ditto Stark, to some extent; though she’s certainly a respected child and family policy expert, I find it hard to believe she’s not better known around here as Pete Stark’s wife.
Or is that just because hacks like me keep pointing it out? Does a candidate omit the information with the knowledge (and/or tacit consent) that journalists most likely will report it anyway? And, should we?
I’d argue for it, as I think a person’s marriage is a part of who they are, and newsworthy for those seeking office especially when that marriage has political dimensions; I’d say the same for a famed politician’s husband seeking his own office. Others might argue against it, saying it’s a demeaning implication that the candidate is riding his/her spouse’s coattails. What do you think?
The Board of Supervisors District 2 seat represents parts of Hayward, Newark, Union City, Fremont, and Sunol; incumbent Gail Steele isn’t seeking re-election. Others in the race include former state Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Sunol; Hayward City Councilman Kevin Dowling; and Union City Mayor Mark Green. The election will be held June 8.