East Bay candidacy and campaign odds and ends

Although many expect former Assemblywoman Wilma Chan to seek and probably win the Alameda County Board of Supervisors Distrct 3 seat (to which incumbent and former Chan aide Alice Lai-Bitker won’t seek re-election), it doesn’t mean the field will be clear: Alameda City Councilwoman Lena Tam filed a candidate intention statement for the seat Jan. 25. District 3 includes the cities of Alameda and San Leandro; the San Lorenzo, Ashland and Hillcrest Knolls unincorporated areas; and Oakland’s Fruitvale, San Antonio and Chinatown districts.

The Democratic primary race for the 20th Assembly District seat (from which incumbent Alberto Torrico is term-limited out, and running for Attorney General) seems pretty evenly matched, moneywise. Fremont City Councilman Bob Wieckowski reported raising $50,810 and spending $13,132.81 in the latter half of 2009, leaving him with $95,672 cash on hand and $7,905 in debt ($87,767 unencumbered) at year’s end. Ohlone College Trustee Garrett Yee reported raising $70,864 and spending $42,663 in the latter half of 2009, leaving him with $126,660 cash on hand and $53,188 ($73,472 unencumbered) at year’s end. But there isn’t much happening on the Republican side: GOP candidate Adnan Shahab reported raising $1,455 – of which $1,350 seemed to come from him and his family – and spending $1,232 in the latter half of 2009, leaving him with $223 cash on hand and no debt at year’s end.

If Republican Jeff Wald of Fremont is going to give incumbent state Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, a run for her money this November, he’d better start finding some money of his own. Wald reported having raised $400 and spent $225.50 in the latter half of 2009, leaving him $174.50 cash on hand at year’s end; the 48-year-old computer network specialist, who challenged but lost to Torrico in 2008, received $100 from Sondra Wald of Henderson, Nev., and $300 from himself. Meanwhile, Corbett raised $80,505 in the latter half of 2009, leaving her with $227,368 cash on hand and $2,179 in debts at year’s end.

Three candidates have emerged so far for the one vacant Alameda County Superior Court seat on June’s ballot. Administrative Law Judge Victoria Kolakowski of Oakland, who ran unsuccessfully for a Superior Court seat in 2008, filed a new candidate intention statement Jan. 29. Criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Louis Goodman of Hayward has filed papers as well. And Deputy District Attorney John Creighton confirmed to me this afternoon that he’s running; the 25-year veteran of the DA’s office was in the headlines for a while about a year ago as he handled the early phases of prosecuting Johannes Mehserle, the former BART Police officer charged with murder in the death of Oscar Grant.

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley isn’t up for re-election to a fourth term in his District 4 seat until 2012, but that didn’t stop him from raising $26,362 in the latter half of 2009. Of that amount, $1,000 is came from the “canna-business” sector supporting medical marijuana and total legalization: $500 from Tax Cannabis, the committee supporting the legalization measure expected to be on this November’s ballot; $250 from the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, now known as the Patient ID Center; $200 from the Berkeley Patients Group; and $50 from medical marijuana attorney/activist Robert Raich of Oakland. And as in the past, Miley has kept some of his campaign spending in the family, paying $2,000 to his son, Chris, of Alameda.

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.