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Ex-Fremont Police Chief launches Assembly bid

Former Fremont Police Chief Craig Steckler formally announced his candidacy Thursday for the 25th Assembly District seat.

Craig StecklerSteckler, 69, a Democrat from Fremont, had said last month that he was gearing up for this. He announced Thursday that Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison, Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Member Cybil Smith, and retired Santa Clara Police Chief Steve Lodge will co-chair his campaign, with other endorsers including Alameda County Board of Education President Eileen McDonald and Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern.

“I’m very grateful for the support my campaign has already received from the community, and I look forward to a conversation about the future of our diverse and vibrant district,” Steckler said in a news release. “The priorities of this community are my priorities – schools, innovation and technology, small business, public safety, and more cooperation between state and local government. I’m not a career politician, but I know how to listen, lead and get results.”

Steckler retired last year after 21 years as Fremont’s top cop. His term as president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, an organization with 22,000 members in about 100 countries and a post that has had him globetrotting quite a bit this year, ends this month.

Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, is seeking the 10th State Senate District seat in 2014, which will leave the 25th Assembly District seat up for grabs. Also in the race are San Jose City Councilman Kansen Chu, Ohlone College Board of Trustees member Teresa Cox, and Milpitas Councilman Armando Gomez, all Democrats.

The 25th Assembly District includes the southern reaches of Alameda County including Newark and part of Fremont, and a swath of Santa Clara County including Milptias, Santa Clara and part of San Jose. As of February, about 45.7 percent of its voters were Democrats, about 18.5 percent were Republicans, and about 30 percent registered with no party preference.

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.

  • Willis James

    Steckler’s pension is now $206,000 (90% of his $229 chiefs salary)
    So, if elected, does he intend to take his full $206,000 pension along with the extra $100,000 legislator salary, along with the car allowance, and the tax free per diem, which throws in a extra $141 per day.
    Well over $30,000 extra tax free money.
    So lets add it all up. $206,000 + $100,000 + $30,000 + $6,000
    Well over $340,000 a year for this “public servant”
    When we see this, along with the current demands of the BART unions, for essentially free medical and free pensions, along with the highest transit salaries in the state BEFORE the new raises demanded, then the general public sees the continuous demand of public employees for ever more compensation.
    Something has happened in the past 40 years.
    The entire concept of public service has been stood on its head. The old model included modest salaries in return for job security and a fair pension.
    Now its excess salaries, huge pensions, and a bounty of free benefits. The trifecta of excess compensation.
    How can a assembly person go to Sacramento and preach fiscal prudence when they are taking in $340,000 of taxpayers money each year?

  • JohnW

    You are absolutely right, Willis James. I have nothing but contempt for the tea partiers, especially the D.C. crowd. However, it’s crap like this that gives rise to their rebellious, blow up government mindset. Most people don’t mind paying taxes, even when rates were much higher than they are now. What they mind is not getting bang for the buck, because all the money is going for lavish benefits instead of for the stuff that taxes are supposed to pay for. It’s supposed to be government of, by and for the People. Not government of, by and for the public employees.