Swanson Places Progressive Backing On Bonta Over Guillen In 18th Assembly District

Bonta, Swanson

ELECTION ’12//ASSEMBLY 18 | A week that already included the all-important blessing of the California Democratic Party got even better for Rob Bonta Wednesday night as Assemblyman Sandre Swanson announced his endorsement of  the Alameda Vice Mayor in the 18th Assembly District.

The pick by Swanson, one of the most progressive leaders in the Assembly, is viewed by many to be a potential gamechanger in the race for replace him in the Assembly between fellow Democrats Bonta and Peralta Community College Trustee Abel Guillen. The redrawn 18th District encompasses a majority of Swanson’s current constituentcy in the East Bay, including Oakland and Alameda. Swanson is termed this November and is expected to run for the State Senate in 2016.

Bonta’s big week started last Sunday afternoon when he snagged the endorsement of the Democratic Party at a caucus in San Leandro. Guillen supporters have raised gripes since that Bonta’s campaign had used new party rules to procure the votes of delegates from Southern California. Bonta barely passed the 60 percent threshold for the endorsement.

Swanson’s support, though, is not a total surprise. He voted for Bonta at Sunday’s caucus, as did State Sen. Ellen Corbett. Swanson’s exuberance for backing Bonta was evident when his office tweeted news of the endorsement late Wednesday night, including a photo of himself with the candidate. The tweet preceeded an annoucement an hour later on Facebook and Twitter.

On Thursday morning, Swanson said, “It has truly been an honor to represent the East Bay in the California State Assembly, and I am looking forward to passing the baton to a new leader to represent Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro.

Over the past several months, I have given serious consideration to the Democratic candidates running to succeed me. I have carefully considered their values, experience and vision for the future. It is now clear to me that Rob Bonta is the best choice for the California State Assembly.”

Swanson’s endorsement is a seen as a huge blow to Guillen’s progressive credentials in an area where such an ideological worldview is a prerequisite for most politicians. During the primary season, there was a belief among many observers that Guillen was the most progressive candidate in the race that also once included AC Transit board member Joel Young. Many pointed to his position on moving the assets of the Peralta Community College from big banking insitutions to smaller community-based banks as proof of his stellar progressive chops. Nevertheless, Bonta won the June primary by six points over Guillen with over 36 percent of the vote.

One East Bay consultant, who is not working on either campaign in the 18th District, said Swanson’s backing also lends credence to the idea the Democratic leadership in Sacramento is beginning to rally around Bonta as its potential newest member.

8 thoughts on “Swanson Places Progressive Backing On Bonta Over Guillen In 18th Assembly District

  1. Lots of deals being made in backrooms, lots of musical chairs being orchestrated – who's writing the score? (The Don himself?)

    Voters will lose out if elected officials, their inner circle of consultants, their former staff members, and their anointed successors choose who will represent the District, months before Election Day…


  2. Where is this “Bonta is no progressive” junk coming from? Check out the endorsement pages for each of the candidates and see for yourself.

    Bonta has more local, progressive democratic clubs supporting him and triple the labor endorsements of Abel Guillen. Now Swanson's endorsement AND the California Dem Party endorsement.

    And you STILL think Bonta's not the clear progressive choice? Really??


  3. Swanson is gonna run against Wilma Chan for her Board of Supervisor spot. She's vunerable since she ain't doing squat.


  4. well swanson is thinkng of his future run for senate. Bonta is seen as likely winner and swanson will need his support in 2014 (Loni will retire early to 'give' seat to skinner)
    swanson is also looking for a place for his incompetent staff to land and i bet that was part of the endorsement deal. look at bonta's money – he is no progressive.progressive in east bay hadn't heard or seen him since he decided to run. his kid goes to private school


  5. It's not a gamechanger, it's game over. There is no way the pacs that buried Young will help Guillen with mailers in October.


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