SD10: United Farm Workers endorses Hayashi

If you were wondering whether anyone would endorse former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi in her run for the state Senate, wonder no more.

Mary HayashiHayashi, 47, of Hayward – who was convicted two years ago of shoplifting $2,450 worth of clothes from San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus – announced Tuesday that she has the United Farm Workers’ endorsement in her campaign for the 10th State Senate District.

Hayashi’s news release said UFW President Arturo Rodriguez wrote that Hayashi’s actions “have demonstrated a strong commitment to the farmworker movement and helped improve the lives of farmworkers. We hold you in the highest regard and consider you to be an individual with platinum status in the eyes of farmworkers.”

Hayashi will be competing for the state Senate seat – from which Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, is term-limited out – against Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont; Democrat Roman Reed, a spinal-injury research advocate and planning commissioner from Fremont; and Republican Peter Kuo, an insurance agent from Santa Clara.

Wieckowski announced last week that he had received the sole endorsement of the Alameda and South Bay Labor Councils. Also, local Democrats at a regional caucus meeting earlier this month gave Wieckowski 105 votes for pre-endorsement while Reed got eight and Hayashi got none; that means Wieckowski’s name will be placed on the consent calendar at state Democrats’ convention next month in Los Angeles, an almost sure-fire route to the party’s endorsement.

But endorsements don’t pay for elections. Campaign finance reports filed at the end of last month show Hayashi finished 2013 with $734,000 in her campaign account and no outstanding debts. Wieckowski had about $125,000 in the bank and owed $32,000; Reed had about $49,000 after lending his campaign $40,000; and Kuo had $24,000 including a $5,000 loan from his own pocket.

Kuo is holding a campaign kick-off fundraiser this Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Bay Club Santa Clara (formerly the Decathlon Club), seeking from $100 to $1,000 per person.

And the fun might not be limited to these four candidates. The Alameda County Registrar of Voters’ log shows two other people have taken out papers for this race, which they might or might not file by the March 7 deadline: Alameda County Superior Court Judge Roy Hashimoto, and former Assemblywoman Audie Bock.

Bock, you’ll recall, was elected to the Assembly as a Green, then went decline-to-state for her unsuccessful re-election bid, then switched to the Democratic party – and now seems to be a registered Republican.

Yes, this 10th State Senate District race seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. Stay tuned…

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.

  • Elwood

    Wow, that’s great news for Hayashi!

    Lots of farm workers in Hayward and Fremont.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Looks like San Leandro is the patron of political losers. Unions don’t have a problem with thieves.

  • Marga

    Why are you bringing San Leandro into this? It’s not even part of the District.

  • Willis James

    She got the same endorsement in her 2012 run for supervisor.
    However their point about her is so true

    “We hold you in the highest regard and consider you to be an individual with platinum status”

    I’ll bet if she shows that to her probation officer, he’ll be impressed.

    BTW, if she were to win in November, she would become the first California legislator to be sworn into office while on probation for a crime committed while sitting in the legislature.

    That would be interesting. Arrested for felony grand theft shoplifting while sitting in the legislature and then sworn into the “upper house” while still on probation for the prior crime. I always knew the State Senate was for the cream of the crop. After all, Senate President pro Tempore Darryll Steinberg runs a tight ship.