Council Candidate breakdown

Not much time today for a lot of analysis. But here’s how I see the candidates breaking down.

Old-Hand Favorites
1) Dominic Dutra — Only Chris De Benedetti has better hair. Also, the best dancer in Fremont politics.
2) Judy Zlatnik – Provides the most continuity in the sense that she’s a lefty in the mold of Wieckowski.

New Blood Favorite
1) David Bonaccorsi – Probably has the most to gain from Dirk Lorenz pulling out. Like Lorenz, Bonaccorsi is a Fremont lifer, whose done lots of civic work and and suffered through Planning Commission meetings.

Potential Sleepers
1) Raj Salwan – Classic compromise candidate. Relatively well-liked, no enemies on the council, very active in the Democratic Party, contributes money to local candidates, volunteers  in civic organizations. But no Planning Commission experience.
2) Moina Shaiq – Similar to Salwan, only tighter with her political checkbook. Both serve on the Human Relations Commission.

Good Resume But Good Luck Getting Three Four Votes
1) Yogi Chugh — He’s worked hard for the party, contributed money, and served on the Planning Commission. He’s also got some folks campaigning for him.

2)Rakesh Sharma — A doctor, Niles Rotarian and Planning Commissioner. But most likely not a council member.

3) Vinnie Bacon — Imagine if instead of having the mayor nominate planning commissioners, Fremont would or could allow each council member to select a commissioner and then let the mayor select the remaining three.  Wieckowski could have selected Tahmasbi, maybe Natarajan appoints Bacon. All of sudden, you have a much more dynamic and interesting Planning Commission. But enough about that, Bacon has no shot.

No Ohlone Way
1) Bob Brunton — One thing I know about the Fremont City Council, they hate drama.
2) Teresa Cox — Nice woman. I remember interviewing Cox when she was running against Brunton for the Ohlone Board. After some name-dropping, she made a point of showing me her campaign business card and explaining the symbolism of her colors and logo. I wonder if she thought that was going to be in the story.

Probably should have applied for the Recreation Commission
1) Robert Carothers – Co-owner of Cici’s in Niles with a background in accounting.
2) Toai Le – An engineer, who, according to his resume, is active in Ardenwood and Vietnamese fraternal groups
3) James Thomas – Taught at Ohlone, worked most recently on the Census.

Last But Never Least
Linda Susoev — I’ve talked to a few Fremont folks over the years who couldn’t name the mayor or any council member, but they sure had heard of Linda Susoev. Not a bad consolation prize.

Matt Artz


  1. For those who still argue that Vinnie should be considered based on placing a close third — say that Kathy never torpedoed Vinnie’s campaign and he won a council seat, and Harrison placed third with 20.3 %. Should the incumbent council appoint Harrison?

  2. Never underestimate the power of hope! Vinnie made the “short list” – and the many thousands of people who voted for him (putting him only 1 & 2% behind both incumbents) are celebrating this possible logical choice that would help round out representation of the people in Fremont.

  3. Marty, I presume you understand that an incumbent losing by 2% is a lot different than an upstart doing the same.

    But, as much as I dislike Harrison, yes I would be inclined to support him in the scenario you outlined.

  4. What I find appalling is the suggestion the candidate must be an active part of the democratic party and a “friend” to existing members. Are we planning a sleepover or an active representation of the community’s desires and election results?

    Coming in just 1% behind an incumbent – one with deep local pockets helping his campaign – is not just a good showing. It shows the will of the citizens of Fremont.

    A strong government is not supposed to be politics as usual. I think an opposing opinion to the staus quo is a good thing. Bring some fresh blood into the City Council and not just the same old tired rhetoric.

    Our City Council should show themselves as leaders and not as the “mean girls” clique from high school they appear to be acting like. Whether you like Vinnie Bacon or not, the responsible (and courageous) thing to do is appoint him to the City Council.

    I may be wearing my rose colored glasses on this one but I refuse to quietly sit back and at least not try to have a local government led by a smart, non-biased leaders.

    I want an effective government not a council of old party friends. I thought I left that behind when I moved from Texas.

  5. Gail,
    FYI Vinnie is an active member of the Democratic Party and also active with the Sierra Club.

  6. Kevin, I was considering that point, that’s why I asked the question. The push by his supporters is that Vinnie should be considered because it is the will of the people.

    That argument looks good because he is new blood. But if Harrison came in 3rd you could say he was voted out of office by the people and should not be considered.

    I am just presenting another uncertainty and gray areas when concluding Vinnie should be part of the process base on the election result.

  7. I don’t know why being a Democrat means Dems should all jump on the Bacon bandwagon. I voted for George McGovern in 72 and Barack Obama in 08 as well as contributing to the Sierra Club. Vinnies demonizing of reasonable developers and his bad mouthing of the current council make him the wrong choice at this time. Vinnie needs to “get it” and maybe he will “get it“ when he runs again in the next election. Time to move on!

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