Roundup of Fremont mayoral and council candidates

Five candidates are running for Fremont mayor, and six candidates are vying for three open City Council seats. I did a roundup of each candidate last week. Those roundup stories don’t allow for a lot of in-depth coverage, but we will have more stories on the Fremont election in the coming days and weeks.

In the meantime, below is a list of the candidates. Which one(s) are you favoring and why?


Aziz Akbari

Steve Cho

Bill Harrison

Anu Natarajan

Linda Susoev



Vinnie Bacon

Sue Chan (Incumbent)

John J. Dutra

Rick Jones

Rakesh Sharma

Mark Wadley

Chris DeBenedetti


  1. The choice for Mayor is obvious, if we want to join Silicon Valley for Hi tech companies, jobs it is Anu Nataragan.
    The other cadidates are good people but are more of the same, small town politicians.
    I am studying the field of candidates for the Fremont City Council and will be making my choice soon!

  2. Those who favor *sensible development* should be elected. Those who chase away cash cows should not. Elect those who put what’s best for Fremont ahead of there own self interest.

  3. I really don’t care for any of the candidates yet, but I’ll probably hold my nose and vote for Harrison. I’m not sold on any of the candidates yet either. But there is no way I will ever vote for Bacon.

  4. Is someone who approves of and/or takes off on a taxpayer-funded trip to India putting “…what’s best for Fremont ahead of their own self interest?”

    And, how about when they return and NO ONE (not Bill and NOT ANU) asks what we do we have to show for this time effort and resource spent???? Is THAT putting what’s best for Fremont ahead of one’s selfish interests?

  5. Vinnie Bacon showed that he is ready for the big leagues by garnering the support of a few elected officials. Senator Ellen Corbett, Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski, and Supervisor Richard Valle all endorsed Vinnie Bacon. If Vinnie Bacon gets a few endorsements of the big organizations, he might just get enough support to put him over the top.

  6. Can someone who gleefully helped kill the biggest cash cow opportunity in the history of Fremont really be the cure… or are we just getting the bussiness. If you really want Fremont to be a big league city, remember to vote and tell your friend and neighbors to vote for those who will put Fremont before their own self interest and the interest of a vocal minority.

  7. Charlie – Why did Anu and Bill both vote to place a cap on the maintenance expense which can be passed thru to owners of Iron Horse Lane?

    Specifically – “assessments for maintenance would be the lesser of the actual cost or the current estimate adjusted for inflation.”

    So – if the actual cost of maintaining this private property rises faster than the rate of inflation . . Fremont taxpayers are on the hook for the difference. . . . . .but WHY ?????

    Wouldn’t a FAIR deal which was in the best interest of ALL Fremont taxpayers AND the owners of this property been simply to pass thru the ACTUAL costs of maintenance – with no cap?


  8. Charlie C, or should I say Michael, your post have improved and you are expressing your self well.
    Although I disagree with your conclusion and data.

  9. West – What “data” has Charlie *EVER* offered?

    s/he/it offers conclusions – – based on no data whatsoever. In fact, some of the opinions are in stark contrast to published data.

    And, it’s a political tactic that’s not unheard of.

    Here’s a quote from a popular television series which attempts to characterize one of our nations emerging political factions – – see how many of these characteristics you recognize – “Ideological purity, compromise as weakness, a fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism, denying science, unmoved by facts, undeterred by new information, a hostile fear of progress, a demonization of education, a need to control women’s bodies, severe xenophobia, tribal mentality, intolerance of dissent and a pathological hatred of the U.S. government.”

  10. #9
    Thanks CalGuy, fyi… I know where you live.
    Niles envy doesn’t become you. It is so so elementary but I’ll say it again …your side won and Fremont lost. Fremont lost Box. And thats the facts…get it?

  11. Charlie – you confuse “facts” with your “opinion”. You clearly choose to ignore “facts”.

    Once again, you have attempt to redirect reasonable questions and statement of “facts” about the deal our current incumbants struck in favor of a small number of Niles land owners with a claim and assumption of my personal “envy”.

    Argumentum ad hominem is a talent that you’ve clearly mastered and it appears to be your one and only retort when the facts get in your way.

    But, join me CHarlie, let’s get back to the original question – Why would Anu and Bill and the rest of the incumbant council unanimously vote to place a cap on the maintenance costs of a private roadway? Why wouldn’t we have simply passed the ACTUAL COSTS of maintenance back to the individuals who own this land??? That would be fair to BOTH the property owners AND the rest of the citizens of Fremont, woudl it not? Personal interest? Not sure, but, this wording is clearly NOT in the interest of the broad Fremont population and is clearly to the benefit of a very small (but politically active) group of private property owners.

  12. Boxie…Saw your cure at Trader Joes the other day shlepping for votes without his barnacle KMac. Now back to the facts. You and your side opposed bringing MLB to Fremont correct? Your side was small and vocal minority correct? If the A’s were in Fremont today they would be drawing 3 million people a year right here to Fremont correct? Cash cow….correct? Is that a *bad* thing? Why don’t you admit you were *wrong* and vote for Dutra?

  13. Personalized commentary directed at V. Bacon followed by an off topic redirect. This is as formulaic as one of Artz’s City Council interviews. . . . .

    Since it appears that you’ve already forgotten the original question – “Why would Anu and Bill and the rest of the incumbant council vote to place a cap on the rate at which increasing maintenance costs will be passed thru to the private property owners of Iron Horse Lane?” Maybe you’ll decide to carry on a discussion at some point. . . . or, NOT.

    P.S. – Vinnie lost serious points on my list of candidates the moment he accepted an endorsement from Mr. Weickowski. I’m seriously concerned (and speculate) he’ll be glad to trade their shared concerns (very generously used in the case of Mr. W) for environmental issues in exchange for Vinnie’s comittment and unswerving allegiance to pensions for safety unions.

  14. Charlie or Michael of Niles…,
    Did you ever consider that people wanting the ball Park, was in the minority.

    The rally against the A’s , at the city council meeting, far outnumbered the Chamber of Commerce Crowd at the South Forty Club.

    Once again Michael, why not go for the minor league San Jose Giants, once the A’s move to San Jose, they will be looking for a new home! Why not Fremont?

  15. BBOX, I am suprised at the conclusion you have drawn from
    Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski endorsement of Vinnie Bacon, where did this come from?
    You know Vinnie, why not ask him, before making slanderous accusations, or did I detect a bit of sarcasm in your statement


    Call, Write or Email Vinnie on any questions you have.

  16. The endorsement by Bobbie W. appears on Vinnie’s web site and, as such, is a fact.

    Bobbie W. has a well-established credential of running aggressive interference on behalf of the public safety pensions – IMHO, to the detriment of our local municipal budgets.

    The expressed concern cannot begin to approach any reasonable definition of the word “slanderous” since it is clearly stated as “speculative”. . . . .

  17. #15 Calguy, West or* Jasper *(that is Christian name is it not) or whatever you will call yourself tomorrow… Face the facts, Vinnie B is running out of gas. I must once again ask you what the hell is wrong with 42,000 people coming in to Fremont 82 times six months a year and sending $$$ in Fremont? You and yours really screw up Jasper. I bet sensible people will vote for Dutra in the next election and VBac *man of the people* will go home and take confort petting his $2000.00 dog while watching his shrubs grow. Box is even jumping off the bandwagon…best of luck to you Jasper!

  18. Charlie C. / Michael of Niles…
    It makes perfect sense to me, that you are voting for John Dutra.
    John Dutra is riding on his daddy’s coat tails. He is not letting people know that it is actually Junior that is running for City Council, not John Senior, that type of deception will NOT get him elected.
    I cannot think of one thing that John Dutra Jr. has done for Fremont, besides working for his Daddy, John Dutra Senior Development!!!!
    Michael are you working on his campaign?

  19. charlie appears to be confused again.

    There is a wide chasm – – – no wait, there’s a H U G E chasm between -#18 – “jumping off the bandwagon” and #14 expressing speculative concerns about what might have been a trade-off in exchange for an endorsement from the likes of Mr. W.

    What is even a greater chasm is the one that Charlie has permitted to grow as s/he/it continues to ignore the original question . . .. but, I digress.

    By comparison to any of his competition, Bacon is the most openly critical thinker of the bunch – something that, even with Dutra’s recent addition is woefully . .. . .WOEFULLY . . missing and sorely needed. I for one hoped (and early interaction supported the idea that) Dutra would move this group forward in their relative need for urgency and critical thinking. . . . but, for whatever reasons, he too has become mired in the same lethargy.

    Vinnie is neither of the pro-development mentality that has achieved the current Fremont result, nor is he the anti-development mentality that Charlie will no doubt infer.

    Bacon, has, at the very least, verbalized a balanced and reasonably comprehensive approach to risk and opportunity, short and long-term thinking and is purposeful in his expressed thoughts and ideas.

    While his competition is busy delivering pretty reminders and soothing anecdotes about their relative tenure (noticeably absent major accomplishments and personal contribution), Bacon has at least addressed many of the major issues in a manner for all to see.

    Hey, Charlie – what about that Iron Horse Lane maintenance subsidy??

  20. #19 Vinnie is toast…see you and VB at the fundraiser on the 28th Jasper.
    #20 Vinnie is toast…anyone who opposed the A’s coming to Fremont is/was wrong and should in respospect have the courage to admit it. Niles is green…so don’t you be bitter.

  21. Charlie C or Michael of Niles,
    Have you ever gone to Vinnies website and read what He is for?


    Michael, I think you are helping Vinnie more then hurting him with your rants about Fremont, not getting the A’s.

    What about that Iron Horse Lane giveaway Charlie? You being from Niles, you ought to be able to give us some insight.

    Last but not least respospect, I think you mean retrospect ?

  22. At the end of the day, Charlie may be right. . . . and Vinnie may “be toast”. It’s a foregone conclusion that a majority of the prospective candidates will be.

    If he is right – it wont be because Vinnie took a position which was unpopular. Because it wasn’t unpopular – at least not with those who were involved. What was “unpopular” was SUPPORT for the stadium. . ..

    More likely it will be due to voter apathy.

    And the fact that the same very small percentage of Fremont residents *will* cast their ballots for the same good ol’ boy smiling faces. The same smiling faces which are – amongst other things – busy taking care of the needs of this very small, but responsible, electorate – while offering loads of excuses to the other 90%.

    So while Bill’s web site says absolutely nothing about issues and while Bill hasn’t laid claim to anything much more than being a cute local kid that grew up in Fremont . . . . . he’ll very likely beat out his opponents. Because – amongst other things – he’s going to give away that maintenance subsidy again next time . . . to a very small, but politically active group.

    And, that’s politics in Fremont.

    Which wouldn’t be so frustrating except that the record is chalk full of opportunity to give that other 90% a reason to cast a ballot and to do so in favor of someone, ANYONE – that doesnt currently do such a fine job of filling one of those Council Chamber seats.

    Finally, what makes this really, REALLY frustrating is that the mechanisms that represent the third-leg in this triad and has historically held the moral obligation and duty to balance the political record is, instead of aggressively helping to dust off that public record and bring it into the light of day, would rather busy itself hauling others who *DO* remain willing to offer scrutiny – into court.

    Nope Charlie – it wont be about the stadium.

    It *will* be about who brings new voters out and into the booth. Time will tell if Chris wants to help with that cause or not.

  23. A responsible electorate would have approved a stadium for a MLB team and that would have been a bonanza to the benefit of the majority. That wasn’t allowed to happen by a well organized vocal minority. Many of the few of us that will be voting in the next election will not forget.

  24. If a vote was allowed to happen (as the overwhelming of Fremont residents assumed would happen) the stadium would have been built and Fremont would finally be a destination. The financial awards for our community would have been huge. The wealthy NIMBYs killed the the issue before a democratic vote could have happened. That said, would have beens, could have beens don’t matter now,,,,,,except in elections,,,,there’s no way I’ll vote for a candidate that killed the greatest opportunity this town has ever had.

  25. News FLash, May 6th, 2025
    Fremont Citizens are concerned about the Ball Park that never happened. There will be a crying rally at San Jose A’s Ball Park….

  26. Wow – Very persuasive,boys.

    So, from listening to you, I gather that you think that Bill, Anu and the rest of the incumbancy had the backing of a majority of fremontians and, according to you, they even had facts on their side – – – you know, like this thing was a HUGE money making opportunity and EVERYONE could see that.

    So, they had all of this really, really obvious stuff on their side AND they had the sentiment of a bunch of Fremontians – heck, I’m beginning to think that, with all that support, even my kid could have sold this to Fremont, but for some reason, somehow – Bill, Anu, the rest of the incumbants – – – – couldnt put it across the finish line, they dropped the ball, they let a few dozen voices go unanswered.

    Shades of not being able to bring Centerville across the finish line, isn’t it??? Kinda’ like they cant figure out how to bill for a residential false alarm . . . Wow – – the list starts to add up when you think about it a little.

    So with all of this in mind – you’re right – and despite the fact that Anu and Bill have dropped the ball – over, and over, and over again –
    let’s vote ’em back into office.

    Makes perfect sense. . . . . . good thinking boys

    Hey – How about that subsidized maintenance on Iron Horse Lane???? Did you know that if the costs of maintenance on this private property go DOWN, that the property owners get the full benefit of that reduced expense and only pay the lesser cost of maintenance ??? But, if those costs ever go UP faster than the rate of inflation, you and I and everyone else in Fremont will help make up the difference. . . .

    Pretty good deal, eh?

  27. #25 & #26
    I don’t know why you want to spend your time beating a dead horse, but you could at least not make things up with revisionist history. Everyone I talked to at the time, *including* members of the FCN, were in *favor* of putting the stadium issue to a city-wide vote. It was the city council and, even more so, Lew Wolff, who didn’t want that. A vote would require effort, money, delay and risk–the outcome couldn’t be predicted and controlled as could a vote of five anything-a-developer-wants council members. When Wolff decided not to build the stadium (after PacCommons and later NUMMI came out against it), the city council had already voted in favor of it–there wasn’t going to be a city-wide vote. *If* such a vote had happened it would have been because FCN and/or other citizens managed to get it on a ballot as they discussed trying to do at the time.

  28. As usual Charlie, you’re confused. The article you cite says that the NFL & 49ers are making a lot of money with a new stadium (partially funded with taxpayer dollars or risk, e.g. the “$950 million construction loan” or the $30M that SC recently pulled resulting in a 49ers lawsuit). The A’s would have done the same with a Fremont stadium (although not as much as with a San Jose stadium if they can convince MLB & Selig to go along with that). But that has nothing to do with the bad deal the target city gets and that a stadium would have been the *WORST* thing that ever happened in Fremont.

  29. #32
    RB… it is you who is confused. Fremont could have been a major tourist destination.Fremont could have had a cash cow. Unfortunately you and the vocal minority won the day. You and yours need to consider what is best for all of us Blue. The Ball Park would have been a win win for Fremont. Time for you to admit your side really screwed up!

  30. See whats funny hear? Charlie thinks that a Ball Park is a major tourist destination. Wow! come on Charlie Tuna next you will tell us that this crap hole of a town we call Niles is also a major tourist destination. Ha Ha get a life Charlie. WOW!! OAKLAND COLISIUM IS NOW A MAJOR TOURIST DESTINATION. Right Charlie Oh yeah lets not forget that great tourist destination called Candlestick.:p

  31. Is it possible that we can talk about the candidates for Mayor.
    There is no such thing as a ideal candidate but as a council watcher for many years, I like ANU. Her education credentials are excellent, She has done a good job as a council woman, surrounded by the good ole boys club.
    I like Cho but He is a politician to the max. I am afraid He will cause dissension on the council and not be a good leader.
    Bill Harrison, Anyone that was a Republican and changed to a Democrat, I do not trust!
    Who is your choice and why?
    Oh, please no more ballpark or I will puke!

  32. #34…Worbs my brother, time to cut back on your bonging. #35…Get you barf bag ready Jasper, this election is all about the electorate *never* forgeting the blunders of the past. FYI… Anu is baseball fan, but is she ready to get back with Lew and build it?

  33. Seems like Anu is a fan of all sorts of extracurricular activities in addition to baseball, Charlie.

    Like trips to India, at taxpayer expense, with little or nothing tangible to report or show as a result.

    Is it any conicidence that her web site doesnt mention anything about that particular trip as being amongst her list of accomplishments.

  34. #38
    I know It’s a l-o-n-g shot but if if Anu were to resurrect the deal and bring the A’s to Fremont she would go down in history. Anu please…pick up the phone and call Lew asap…for the benifit of *all* the people.

  35. Give it a rest. Next you’ll start whining that Oakland was cheated when they lost to San Diego or SFO should have another chance at the 2016 Olympics or that we should do another Bush/Gore recount…

  36. The failure to build the ballpark will haunt this town for decades. It is absolutely an issue in this race. Some of us have long memories and we will vote.

  37. “long memories” are useless when all they retain are emotional anecdotes.

    Please do vote.

    The rest of you who do not . . . please take careful note of the attitudes and mentalities that are responsible for producing the kind of result you are witness to in *your* respective district(s).

  38. #40, 42…Bad decisions for dubious reasons just can’t be swept under the rug. Remember those who opposed the ballpark and vote them down!

  39. #41 …Worbs
    An up or down vote on the stadium should have been put on the ballot and voted on. This was not allowed to happen. It appear to really bug you that the defeat of the ballpark by a well organized, vocal minority hasn’t just been swept under the rug. We who were filibustered and swift-boated by your side have not or will not forget.

  40. Geez, Charlie, it must really bite hard when you and Anu and Bill and Sue allowed the City of Fremont to get “swift-boated” by a couple dozen folks paddling around in a row-boat.

    I’m sure that you and Anu and Bill were right – damn Catellus and damn NUMMI, we shoulda built the thing anyway.

  41. Geez, Boxie, What do you and your well orgaiized vocal minority have against what’s in the best interest of Fremont? NUMMI folded and Catellus keeps buliding cookie cutter malls. Yeah, sure…I say build it and Fremont will prosper.

  42. NUMMI folded, you’re right . . . . but Charlie, you left out that minor tidbit that they were followed up by the arrival of TESLA.

    Oh, and now Thermo Fisher Scientific. Neither of which would be anywhere near a ballpark and BOTH of which bring jobs.

    LOTS of jobs.

    No, wait, I take that back – they dont just bring jobs,Charlie – they bring CAREERS.

    For this reason, I think it’s wrong of you and the other stadium supporters to so readily refuse to include the likes of NUMMI, Catellus, and now TESLA and Fisher Scientific as within the context the best interests of our community. But, you know what – that’s just part of the problem with this town. We’re seriously mixed up on what’s important and what’s not.

    It’s a shame that a lone non-incumbant voice was the only one willing to go to bat for these business interests.

    It’s a shame that Bill and Anu and now you and Sue remain completely willing to subordinate the interests of these signficant businesses interests in hopes of helping out a one-off wine bar or restauranteer. . . or for your personal moment in the centerfield limelight.

    Perhaps it’s one of the reasons why ours is so slow to attract more of these kinds of business interests, Charlie. When your current council members so clearly demonstrated their willingness to toss NUMMI and Catellus and virtually every one of the Pac Common retailers under the bus, compromise their supply chain(s), and seriously mess with their customers’ ability to access goods and services, why would ANYONE want to bring a business to this town?

  43. Bbox, sometimes you do come off as an emotionless Vulcan. Since when is civic pride an “emotional anectdote”?
    I’m happy to have Tesla, but it’s less than a fifth the size of nummi and contributes very little to Fremont, there will no “careers” generated whatsoever. It remains to be seen how many careers Fisher will make for then South Bay. You can bet they will add very little to Fremont.
    The passionate and emotional wasted opportunity that was the stadium will leave a scar that this town will never recover from. The name recognition alone would have brought business in. This town was born out of uniting the former townships. Yet, there is no unity, nothing that brings us together, no there here. The A’s would unified this town like never before. It’s an intangible thing an emotionless elite minority would never understand. The A’s would have contributed to our needy schools and added weight to fundraising efforts at the grassroots level. Of course the minority NIMBY elite only cares about MSJ anyway, they could care less about the rest of Fremont that doesn’t have deep pocket support.
    So, enjoy your perch and your faux elite superiority. Enjoy a town without an identity so you can avoid an occasional traffic jam. Enjoy your out of town lawyer candidate. He may even win, but he will never get my vote.

  44. Wow – “no “careers” generated whatsoever” – by TESLA or Fisher Sci and “…they will add very little to Fremont”


    This is exactly the kind of thinking (adjective used VERY generously in this instance) and public statement that would give any CEO a reason to avoid this town.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *