The Race For Second In The 20th Assembly Could Come Down To The Wire

June 4, 2012 | Hayward Councilman Bill Quirk should be advised to compose an early victory speech for the 20th Assembly District Tuesday night. His campaign, like Rob Bonta’s in the nearby 18th, has rolled somewhat effortlessly towards primary bliss. Quirk took the Democratic Party’s mantle and held it firmly during the campaign, but for some reason, spent liberally. His $168,000 in expenditures was easily the highest of the five candidates in the race, but was it spent wisely? We’ll see.

In actuality, if you include independent expenditures, nearly $400,000 was spent on behalf of Dr. Jennifer Ong. Quirk may have been trying to keep up with Ong, while hoping to widen his name-recognition in the district, however, the bulk of Ong’s spending also involved getting her name out–pot holders, potted plants–and her aim seemed not at Quirk, but gaining second place. If the rush to snag Ong second place is successful, it will initially put her in the best early position against Quirk and the likely onslaught of party and labor support that will come his way after Labor Day,.

Aside from the late and aggressive splash made by Ong, undoubtedly, this race will pivot on her performance, either way. Although, along with Ong, three candidates who feature immigrant stories reside in the race, it is her demographic that is the largest. Here are the district’s voting-age minority demographics:


It’s no wonder Union City Mayor Mark Green started looking for an appointment to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in the middle of the campaign. The numbers, both electoral and financial, are two quick strikes against him. Even if Green dominates in Union City, its portion of the district’s pie is not big enough for the top two without an impossibly large number of independents, which he now labels himself. Green’s backyard also contains a small, but significant amount of Sikhs, which should be the bulk of New Haven school board member Sarabjit Cheema’s totals. The Republican in the race, Luis Reynoso, has the party’s endorsement and portrays himself as a conservative who could siphon some moderates to his side. In short, every new candidate to this race eats away at Green’s portion of the pie.

A poll surreptitiously put out by Quirk’s campaign showed him well in the lead with all other candidates bunched between 1-5 percentage points from second to fifth. That range could continue through Tuesday night. In fact, it would not be a surprise if the race to be Quirk’s opponent in November comes down to the wire between Ong, Green and, possibly, Reynoso.

A Quirk/Ong battle in election, could possibly give the East Bay a second intramural race between two Democrats, and as a practical matter, reveal very few contrasting issues. Basically, a choice between an older, experienced white man versus a younger Asian American woman with little political experience. A Quirk/Green race, from an aesthetic standpoint is a fascinating contrast in people and styles. Remember, Green said Quirk “was not exactly Mr. Charisma”? The best scenarios for Quirk would be a match-up with the Republican fire-breather Reynoso, where the sheer party breakdown would be devastating advantage or facing the far less experienced Cheema.

Categories: asians, Bill Quirk, Hayward, Jennifer Ong, Luis Reynoso, Mark Green, Republicans, south asians, Uncategorized

13 replies

  1. Please Ong or Green for second. Reynoso would never beat Quirk. Quirk deserves at least a tough race in Nov. Jennifer's mail and the IE mail for her is some of the worst campaign mail I have ever seen. But repetition, race and gender could pull Ong into second.


  2. My money is on Reynoso vs Quirk. As a democrat I am ready for a change. Don't discount Reynoso, as Tavares said he is a fire-breather and I think the people want something different this time. Our democrat policies have not been doing any good for the economy in the east bay.

    Party breakdown advantages have been meaningless in the past specially when the quality of the candidate is very good in the lower registered party.

    I prefer a very smart fire-breather Reynoso then any of the other candidates.


  3. You're endulging in fantasy. Reynoso will not make the top two. Vote for him if you want, but he won't make it.


  4. BTW, the reason the economy in the East Bay (and elsewhere in the country) is bad is entirely due to our low taxes, poorly regulating government. That's all Republican policies, baby. Electing Reynoso wouldn't help us there.

    Democratic Party policies at the State Legislature have not been allowed to be implemented, even though the people have put Dems in over 60% of the Assembly and Senate seats. That's because of Proposition 13, which has been a molotov cocktail to California's future.

    Remember when our schools were first in the nation and our community and public colleges were affordable? Blame Proposition 13 for their destruction. And that's just the start.


  5. I am voting for Reynoso.


  6. Given how much money has gone into Jennifer Ong campaign there should be an investigation into the connections of where all that money came from.
    I will not be bribed to vote for her by her trinket gifts. Insulting. No vote from smart voters for Ong.


  7. Reynoso FTW!!!


  8. Travris, you should stop writing political stories and stick to something you know about, like under water basket weaving. Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about in politics.


  9. Rob Bonta is that rare combination of intellect, compassion and charisma. The CA State Assembly needs someone like him. Rob Bonta, a product of CA public schools, worked his way through Yale earning his B.A. and J.D., could have chosen Wall Street, but he chose to serve the people. Currently, he is a City Attorney fighting the good fight on behalf of the citizens of SF. This is the measure of his character. This is why I believe in Rob Bonta. My name is O.J. Leonardo and I stand with Rob Bonta. You should too.


  10. Expectations? Really? What expectations? Frankly if I were Swalwell I would be ashamed if I were to win a seat to Congress based on stunts (delivery of smelly chicken just one of the many examples). It is beneath the dignity of a lawyer to treat the electorate with such a deep level of disrespect and disregard. It would be so sad if Swalwell were to win and go to Congress on a platform of stunts, no policy and a “throw the bum out” catechism.

    I stopped by the Swalwell rally on Saturday at 10am (start time) and the parking lot was empty. I was convinced it had been cancelled but nope – just no one there.

    On Sunday, I went to Pete’s Rally in Dublin (gotta hand it to Pete, he's got balls to hold a rally in Swalwell's town) – more than 80 chairs were set up and all of them were taken, people lined the walls – people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds – true diversity. You could see the Swalwell truck driving up and down the street (who's too chicken now).

    It was predictable that KTVU, a FOX affiliate, would hammer Pete. Pete’s an avowed progressive with a 40 year history of standing up for exactly what he believes in, not the self-protectionism seen in so many politicians. Why would a Murdock affiliate do anything different? BANG and Chronicle have been so fractured by the internet age, their newsrooms so shredded, the competition inside is so fevered that reporters are missing the point of their jobs – it’s more important for them to PROTECT their jobs.

    My predictions are
    * Pete hits over 60%
    * Pareja gets 21%
    * Swalwell gets 19%

    It’s not that he won’t reach expectations – it’s that he never had any for even himself.


  11. Pareja is a joke. He wont get no more than 5% of the vote.


  12. ^^^ gtfo…. Swalell is the big time joke…


  13. Pareja has no business resume. At least Swallwell is prosecutor and city council man. What does Chris Pareja have? Chris Pareja has phony business websites. and

    according to google traffic they hardly get any hits. They are phony web front businesses with no activity in income.

    Perhaps Pareja needs to compare his tax return against my candidate Swallwell to determine where their income comes from. My hunch Pareja has no job or business.
    Show us your tax returns Pareja. Prove your claims of a real business owner.


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