Green, the current mayor of Union City was among eight applicants for the four-month appointment lasting until the November general election. As reported yesterday, Gail Steele, the former holder of the District 2 seat before Lockyer’s election in 2010, has also applied, as has former Union City council member Richard Valle and Newark Councilwoman Ana Apodaca.
Included in the list is Thomas Ajawara, an independent consultant, Sheryl Grant, an account executive, who also sat on the board of the defunct Associated Community Action Program during the final months of its existence, and Larry E. Jackson, a retired former administrator who characterized himself as Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. “I’m just a simple man with ideals who wants to do something to make a difference,” Jackson wrote. Myrla Raymundo is a former Union City planning commissioner, who has also sat on various county commissions.
With the June primary less than three weeks away, the interest of Green is a bit of surprise, but long rumored. For the near present, Green is going to wear two campaign hats. A recent poll showed his campaign for assembly running a competitive second to his Democratic opponent, Bill Quirk. The top two vote-getters advance to the November general election. In his application, Green explained, if appointed, and should he finish in the top two on June 5, he would continue his campaign for the assembly and not seek re-election for the county supervisor. Conversely, he would run for supervisor in November, if not successful in the June assembly primary.
Of the group, only Raymundo and Steele said they would not seek re-election in November, if appointed, while Grant was non-committal in her application.
Steele wrote a blunt assessment of the state of the district and obliquely of the woman who replaced her two years ago after retirement from the board. “I want to restore confidence in the District 2 supervisor,” she wrote. “I believe that although this appointment is short-term, I can effectively help rebuild trust because I have been active in the District for so many years.”
“I want to take the politics out of the District 2 supervisor race in November 2012, so that all candidates run on a level playing field,” she added.
The rationale for allowing for a November election without an appointee gaining the power of the incumbency was first mentioned three weeks ago by Supervisor Keith Carson. However, some in the heavily Latino District 2 fear a well-financed challenger in November could walk away with the seat solely on financial and political power. In the meantime, potential candidates like Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, Alberto Torrico and even State Sen. Ellen Corbett are lurking.
The Board of Supervisors will meet next Tuesday, May 22, 2 p.m., to select at least three candidates to be publicly interviewed at a special meeting the following week, May 29, 1:30 p.m, according to Supervisor Nate Miley’s office. The tentative plan is to make a selection on June 5–ironically election day–and swear in the appointee on June 12.