Corbett Denies Lockyer’s Endorsement Boast

District 2 Supervisor hopeful falsely tells Fremont seniors she has senator’s backing By Steven Tavares
On a day when two local media outlets published scathing articles about the honesty and political motivations of Alameda County supervisor candidate Nadia Lockyer, she told a group of seniors in Fremont she had obtained the endorsement of state Sen. Ellen Corbett, but the East Bay legislator says no.

“Sen. Corbett has not endorsed a candidate in the race,” said her spokeswoman Lynda Gledhill, who would not elaborate on whether conversations over Corbett’s backing of Lockyer have occured. The campaign manager for Lockyer, Katie Merrill, says there may have been a “misunderstanding” over the erroneous endorsement that was “conveyed by a third party.”

This is not the first time a candidate for supervisor has jumped the gun by mentioning a false endorsement this primary season. Bev Johnson, the mayor of Alameda and supervisor candidate for the county’s other open seat told supporters at her kick-off party in March she had received the important backing of San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos to his surprise. Santos has not endorse a candidate for either race.

Later in the 90 minute candidate’s forum at the Fremont Senior Center, Lockyer also said her father, noted Southern California Civil Rights Attorney Wally R. Davis” was a founder of the Democratic Party in Orange County.” Following the statement, her opponents Hayward Councilman Kevin Dowling and former state Sen. Liz Figueroa both reacted to the apparent gaffe. Afterwards, Dowling questioned whether the Democratic Party was already entrenched in Orange County during the 1960s before Davis’s involvement in the local Hispanic community. Merrill defended Lockyer’s description of her father’s accomplishments saying Davis helped build the structure of the party in traditionally conservative Orange County.

Dowling and Figueroa also criticized Lockyer for repeatedly referencing former East Bay lawmaker Johan Klehs as a former state senator, when in fact, he spent 12 years in the assembly representing the 14th and 18th districts before losing in a state senate primary to Corbett in 2006. “Are these the issues Kevin Dowling thinks will help people in this District?” asked Merrill. “This is what losing campaigns do and Kevin’s campaign is losing.”

Lockyer awoke Wednesday morning to a highly critical story in the San Francisco Chronicle alleging she had misstated her position on her web site as a deputy district attorney for the county. Lockyer told the Chronicle the designation was a mistake, but according to the story, her campaign spokesman maintained its validity, then said the web site was corrected and questioned whether Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley knew if Lockyer worked in her office. Merrill told The Citizen the Chronicle article “did not represent my conversation.” but admitted, “We made a mistake.”