Election update

Here’s the latest on who’s pulled/filed papers to run for local office this November (in alphabetical order). Names in blue are those who have “filed,” meaning they’ve submitted completed paperwork as opposed to just picking up papers to run. Also, names with asterisks at the end are incumbents. The filing period ends Aug. 6.

* Alameda County Water District (2 open seats): 1) Judy Huang*; 2) Paul Sethy

* BART, District 6 (1 seat): 1) Tom Blalock*

* Fremont City Council (2 seats): 1) Vinnie Bacon; 2) Kristen Briggs; 3) Bill Harrison*; 4) John T. Herndon; 5) Fazlur Khan; 6) Kathryn Rhyn McDonald; 7) Anu Natarajan*; 8)) Vladimir Rodriguez; 9) Linda Susoev

* Fremont Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Lara York*

* New Haven Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Jerico Abanico; 2) Rosalinda Canlas; 3) Sarabjit Cheema; 4) Gwen Estes*

* Newark Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Charlie Mensinger*; 2) Gary Stadler; 3) Nancy Thomas*

* Ohlone Community College District, Area 1 (2 seats): 1) Bill McMillin*; 2) Richard Watters*

* Ohlone Community College District, Area 2 (2 seats): 1) Bob Brunton; 2) Ishan Shah

* Union City City Council (3 seats): 1) Subru Bhat; 2) Emily Duncan; 3) James Robert Greaney; 4) Venkataraman Iyer; 5) Forrest Patterson; 6) Gary Singh; 7) Bill Stone

* Washington Township Healthcare District (3 seats): 1) Michael Wallace*


Election filing period – Day 2

Here’s the latest on who’s pulled papers to run for the November election. Names that were added today are in blue. Remember: just because someone pulls papers doesn’t mean (s)he is running necessarily. One’s candidacy isn’t official until the completed forms are turned back into the county Registrar’s office (or city hall) and certified by the registrar/clerk. The filing period ends Aug. 6.

* Fremont City Council (2 open seats): 1) Kristen Briggs; 2) Kathryn Rhyn McDonald; 3) Bill Harrison; 4) Anu Natarajan; 5) Vinnie Bacon

* Fremont Unified School District (2 seats)

* Newark Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Gary Stadler; 2) Charlie Mensinger; 3) Nancy Thomas (Thomas pulled and filed papers today)

* New Haven Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Jerico Abanico; 2) Gwen Estes (Estes pulled and filed papers. She said four years ago when she ran for re-election that it would be her last term. I guess she changed her mind.)

* Union City Council (3 seats)

* Ohlone College, Area 1 (2 seats): 1) Bill McMillin; 2) Bob Brunton

* Ohlone College, Area 2 (2 seats)


Let the race began

Today was the first day people could officially declare their candidacy for local government races by filing papers with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters or, in some cases, at city hall. Here’s a summary of Tri-City area races for November and who’s picked up nomination papers. That means these people are thinking about running, but until they submit completed forms (aka “file them,”) they’re not official candidates.

* Fremont City Council (2 open seats):  1) Kristen Briggs; 2) Kathryn Rhyn McDonald; 3) Bill Harrison; 4) Anu Natarajan

* Fremont Unified School District (2 open seats).

* Newark Unified (2 open seats):  1) Gary Stadler

* New Haven Unified (2 open seats): 1) Jerico Abanico

* Union City Council (3 open seats): No one’s pulled papers, but Emily Duncan, of the city’s human relations commission, has had a Facebook page up since June about her candidacy.

* Ohlone College, Area 1 (2 open seats): Bill McMillin.

* Ohlone College, Area 2 (2 open seats).


Potential appointees to the City Council

Here’s the top five candidates as I see it:

Dirk Lorenz — Dirk would make history as the first Fremont councilman to have seen Cher live in concert. He’s a Planning Commissioner and Fremont native, who could get four votes. Potential pitfall is his stake in a diner on city-owned land; the fact that he’s a Republican; and that he didn’t get appointed last time around right after he had nearly been elected to the council.

David Bonaccorsi — Planning Commissioner, Fremont native, active with the schools and a lawyer to many, including Mr. Dutra. Only downside is that his name is harder to spell than his would-be predecessor’s.

Yogi Chugh — Planning Commissioner, who has worked to support Democratic candidates around town. Another name I’ve botched in the past.

Nina Moore — Former School Board member, chamber leader, who could also get four votes. (But she told me on Thursday that she’s not interested.)

Ishan Shah — Haha. Just kidding. There are only four top candidates. But it doesn’t matter since Ishan is taking it to the house in November.

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Guess who got to speak to the President?

The one and only Fazlur Khan.

After finishing last in the 2008 City Council race, Fazlur has become active in the Barrack Obama group that tries to spur citizens to rally for the president’s agenda. As part of his work, Khan got to sit in on a conference call with Obama about the health care reform effort.

He said Obama was very passionate.

Now Khan is trying to mobilize. Click where it says to click for details Continue Reading


Did she break the pledge?

In this video, at the 1:32 mark, Trisha Tahmasbi pledged not to take money from developers during her run for City Council last year. And technically, she didn’t.

But on Oct. 31 — four days before the Nov. 4 election —  she accepted at least $9,500 from members the Patterson family, which own much of the land slated for Fremont’s biggest development project: More than 800 homes, two churches, parks, a school — all adjacent to Coyote Hills Regional Park. She also got $500 from Richard Frisbie, the private planner and former city employee, who is shepherding the project through the entitlement process.

The development proposal is heading to the City Council this year. The Pattersons have a big stake in it. They spent about $600,000 in 2006 fighting Measure K, which would have rezoned the land for agriculture and killed the project. After they get their entitlements and the housing market rebounds, they plan to sell the land to firms that will do the building.

So did Tahmasbi break her pledge, or at least the spirit of it?

She says no. She wrote this text message to me today:

Frisbie is a planner and the Pattersons are landowners. Neither are developers. My pledge was no money from developers.

Here’s what she said last year in that YouTube video:

I would like you to know that I made a campaign pledge not to accept developers contributions. I have done so in order to preserve the integrity of the planning process and to remove even the slightest appearance of undo influence of developers who have business before the city. I am proud of this pledge, and I invite all of the other candidates to join me.

The pledge appeared to be good politics at the time. It distinguished Tahmasbi from her top rival, Sue Chan, whose campaign was largely run and funded by the former Assemblyman John Dutra — one of Fremont’s biggest developers. And it blurred the differences between her and Vinnie Bacon, who had already made the same pledge and had the backing of Fremont’s environmental left.

Bacon was shocked to hear about the contributions and said the Pattersons were in essence developers. You can read his quotes in tomorrow’s paper.

Councilmember Bill Harrison, who had endorsed Tahmasbi said the Pattersons aren’t developers, although he acknowledged they do have business coming up before the city. Councilmember Anu Natarajan, who also backed Tahmasbi, didn’t want to comment about the Pattersons.

Tahmasbi, 28, is deputy chief of staff for Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico. Despite the support a majority of the city council, most unions and the Chamber of Commerce, she finished fourth in last year’s city council election, behind both Chan and Bacon. Late campaign contributions for all 2008 Fremont candidates were released yesterday and are available at City Hall.


Fremont Election Winners, non-winners and losers

Next week, I’ll find something else to write about: maybe some migratory bird sightings or a polka Video of the Week segment. But I’m still decompressing the election.


The Oakland A’s: Their main man, Bob Wasserman won for mayor; his main woman, Sue Chan, won for City Council, and the A’s didn’t spend a cent to make it happen.

The Mayor: Wasserman avenges his 1996 loss to Gus Morrison, and picks up another ally on the council. He’s not an arm-twister, but he does have two folks who will be inclined to agree with him most of the time. And, come December, he won’t have give any cross looks in outgoing Conuncilman Steve Cho’s direction.

The City Manager: Wasserman and Fred Diaz go back to Tracy together, and they often see things the same way. If Morrison  Cho had won, Diaz might have been updating his resume.

Bob Wieckowski: He’s the top vote-getter for City Council, and now he’s perfectly positioned to head off to Sacramento in two years to take over for his law office mate, Assemblyman AlbertoTorrico.

Kristi Yamaguchi: The Olympic gold medalist’s gal, Sue Chan, won for City Council and her parents’ picks for Washington Hospital also won. Wonder if she’d give it all away for a Mitt Romney victory in 2012.

For more winners and losers, click where it says to click

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(UPDATE) (UPDATE)Wasserman re-elected, Wieckowski, Chan win council race

All precincts are reporting.

Other races:

Bryan Gebhardt, Ivy Wu(incumbent) and Lily Mei were elected to the Fremont Unified School District

Kevin Harper(incumbent)  Michelle Matthews and Jonas Dino(incumbent) were elected to the New Haven Unified Board.

Measure UU passed.

Fremont voters actually passed a tax. Measure MM coasted to victory.

Teresa Cox ousted Bob Brunton from the Ohlone College Board, while Greg Bonaccorsi defeated David Sheen in a separate Ohlone race.

The incumbents Pat Danielson and Bill Nicholson were re-elected to the Washington Hospital Board.

Fremont Mayor

Candidate                              Votes                 %
Wasserman                            20,406               42.67             
Cho                                        15,429               32.26
Gus Morrison                         9,875                 20.65
Paul Reeder                            1,953                 4.08


Wieckowski                          22,223                27.67
Chan                                     16,709                20.81
Bacon                                    12,735                15.86
Tahmasbi                              11,773                 14.66
Montgomery                           3,922                4.88
Hou Leong                             3,873                4.82
Susoev                                   2,934                3.65
Bartlett                                   2,256                2.81


Fremont’s expensive council race

You knew this race was going to be the priciest because it’s big and the council raised the contribution limit to $500.

Still, as of Friday, Mayor Wasserman had raised more than $111,000 and spent $103,565 on his re-election bid. Meanwhile Steve Cho had raised $103,649 and spent $82,946, and Gus Morrison, who loaned his campaign $25,000, had raised $44,110 and spent $62,562.

Among the top council candidates, Sue Chan, as of Friday had spent $94,919 on her campaign, compared to $79,420 for Wieckowski and $51,380 for Tahmasbi.