Antioch to gain a write-in mayoral candidate

Allen Payton

Allen Payton

The Antioch mayor’s race just got more interesting.

Former Antioch Councilman Allen Payton says he is running for mayor as a write-in candidate and will challenge incumbent Mayor Don Freitas and Councilman Jim Davis on Nov. 4.

Payton had agreed earlier this year to throw his support behind Davis and stay out of the race.

But today, Payton told me that Davis has failed to mount a serious campaign.

“He hasn’t raised any money,” Payton said. “He hasn’t put up any signs. I’ve supported Jim five times but I just don’t think he has the ability to beat Freitas.”

And what precisely constitutes a “serious campaign?” Davis and Payton clearly don’t see eye-to-eye on this one.

“I guess I’m not running the kind of campaign that Allen thinks I should run,” Davis said.

For example, Payton was the man behind an anonymous hit-piece on Freitas that arrived in Antioch mailboxes just prior to the mayor’s 2004 re-election. Some pointed the finger at Davis but Payton eventually admitted that he was the author.

Payton has political baggage, too.He served on a deeply dysfunctional City Council from 1994-1998 and barely survived a 1996 recall campaign. Payton abandoned plans in 2000 to run for mayor after he was arrested in an domestic dispute involving his wife.

But regardless of his political challenges, Payton faces an even steeper uphill climb as a write-in candidate. As the title suggests, a write-in candidate must persuade voters to physically write down his or her name on the ballot. That takes a lot of motivation.

Correction. I wasn’t the one “behind the hit piece on Don Freitas four years ago. I NEVER ADMITTED I WAS THE AUTHOR. I merely designed it for some individuals, who brought me information to put in it and paid to have it printed and mailed. I then emailed the artwork to the printer they chose and got them prices and checked into the legality of it being anonymous. They – and I’m only aware of three involved – chose and continue to choose to remain nameless, and I’ll respect that, as they are afraid of the repercussions from Freitas, since some are involved politically and others have property and business in Antioch. I knew I’d end up being the fall guy and that’s OK. I’m not afraid of Freitas, what he can say or do to me. My concern is what he’s done and not done for Antioch


Dispatches from the McCain campaign trail

I know this is a belated entry but it’s been a very long week. (I also celebrated another birthday a few days ago and I’m pointing the forgetful finger at age.) But the truth is, I just plain forgot to post these photos kindly sent by Antioch businessman Allen Payton, who is also co-chairman of the John McCain campaign in Contra Costa County.

Payton has been traveling around the country working on the Arizona senator’s presidential campaign. He flew to Phoenix on Feb. 5 to watch McCain deliver a speech after big wins on Super Tuesday, and he sent these photos.

I particularly like this photo, which shows McCain with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, and U.S. sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Ct., and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina.
Will one of these men become McCain’s vice presidential running mate? Perhaps.

It’s also interesting to recall that in 2000, Democrat Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, from the floor of the Democratic National Convention, nominated Lieberman for vice president. It was unsuccessful but here’s Lieberman, eight years later, standing behind the Republican who may well become his party’s nominee.

You’ll also see photos of Payton with Lieberman, and he scored a picture of himself with McCain’s feisty mother, Roberta. The other shot is taken from the audience; McCain speaking with his wife, Cindy, by his side; and of McCain arriving by jet to the Phoenix airport.


Antioch McCain volunteer reports from Florida

Antioch advertising consultant Allen Payton sends this photo of GOP presidential candidate John McCain taken from the front row of the Republican’s victory speech in Miami on Tuesday night.

“I was two people away from the podium (where McCain stood) and I had the chance to shake his hand, tell him he a did a good job,” Payton said while driving back to West Palm Beach from the victory rally at the Hilton hotel at the Miami airport. “It was a good speech and the place was packed.”

Payton has been in Florida since last week, when he flew out to work the phones. He’s on his way back to Antioch today, where he is he co-chairman of McCain’s Contra Costa County campaign.

“We thought we would win but we also knew it could be very close,” Payton said. “We spent the weekend calling undecided voters and we had some pretty heated discussions.”

Here some other photos that Payton sent over.

The group photo was taken at the reception of McCain’s victory party at a Miami airport hotel. It includes, from the left, Don Marshall of Piedmont, Mona Osborne, Ryan Pierce, Allen Payton of Antioch, Brad Vynalek, Emma Rittgers, Steve Seftenberg and Brad Grantz.


Antioch man stumps for McCain in Florida

Antioch advertising consultant Allen Payton is in Miami where he’s been since Friday campaigning for GOP presidential candidate and Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Today is the primary election in Florida, and Payton said this morning that he expects to be on the phone call day calling voters. Payton is the co-chairman of McCain’s campaign in Contra Costa County, and if McCain wins in the 10th Congressional district, Payton will go to St. Paul in September as a McCain delegate to the national Republican convention.

“They’re bringing in food nonstop so we don’t have to leave the office,” Payton said via cell phone.

Payton took the photo on the right in a McCain’s West Palm Beach campaign office. Another East Bay resident, Don Marshall of Piedmont is the second man from the right.

In an email Monday, Payton wrote, “Hey. Just got back from the rally in Tampa. Great event. Gov. Charlie Crist introduced Sen. McCain. Met some local and state elected officials who were in attendance. Walked out with the McCains and former Navy Sec’ty John Lehman to the Straight Talk Express.”

Not missing an opportunity to put in a small dig at McCain’s chief rival, Mitt Romney, here’s what Payton wrote write in an e-mail on Sunday: “Took a quick drive down Ocean Blvd, today to see the Atlantic Ocean and ran into a fundraiser for Romney. Security blocking the street asked me if I was there for Gov. Romney, as I drove by with my coat in the window with a McCain sticker on it. Had to say “No” and drive on. Lots of pretty people getting out of fancy cars in a very high-end neighborhood of estate-type homes with lots of valet parking attendants around.”

Update: Here’s a photo of Payton today at McCain headquarters, where he’s hoping to leave later and head for the victory party in Miami tonight. (Payton is the guy in the blue Hawaiian shirt. Nice of him to dress up for phone-call duty.)