Bill Quirk, Jennifer Ong

ELECTION ’12//ASSEMBLY 20 | Bill Quirk’s campaign for Assembly District 20 released internal polling results revealing a double-digit lead over fellow Democratic competitor, optometrist Jennifer Ong.

The poll’s results showed Quirk with 43 percent and Ong with 30 percent. The poll, initiated by Godbe Research and paid for by the Quirk campaign, evaluated 602 likely voters and both of the candidate’s ballot designation and excerpts from the candidate statements were read to participants. Further details on the poll, including questions, are considered confidential according to Quirk. Quirk says the large margin is likely due to the Democratic Party’s endorsement officially bestowed upon him in February.

Ong’s confidence hasn’t dwindled though as she cites Union City Mayor, Mark Green’s, quid pro quo support to be essential to pulling in Union City support by Election Day in November. Green isn’t likely to make a full endorsement during his run for the District 2 Supervisor seat against appointed Supervisor Richard Valle and current AD20 Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, according to Ong.

This is the second research study by Godbe Research, whose results were made public by Quirk’s campaign and like the first; both show Quirk to have been consistently in the lead for AD20. The first study showed Quirk leading with 25 percent, an 11 percent lead on Green, who was slightly leading the pack for second place during primaries, according to the research poll.

Quirk took the June primary with a 4.6 percent lead on Ong; winning with a total percentage of 30.3 percent and Ong with 25.7 percent, a 5.7 percent lead on Green who finished with 20.3 percent.

Quirk has been leading the race with major endorsements and finances with a current cash on hand of $33,358 according to the last reporting period. Ong is documented to have $14,824 which less than half of Quirk’s campaign finances. Although Ong has been one of the heavy spenders for an Assembly seat this year with large independent expenditures from PACs such as the California Optometric Fund PAC and the Union of American Physicians and Dentists Medical Defense Fund, averaging around $200,000 in spending.

Despite that Quirk’s union support has been a valued asset in financial contributions and drawing community support to the wings of his campaign. Ong has maintained the second place spot, nabbed in June, with such large support from the medical field and financial spending fervor to maintain revelance in a race that has thus far favored Quirk.

Its been known that Ong hired noted poltical strategist Richie Ross as her campaign manager to mold her campaign at the onset of her run for Assembly. Ross was called a “warlord” for Willie Brown, former San Francisco mayor and former Assembly State Majority Speaker, when he was his campaign manager and is infamous for his sometimes harsh and inconvential tactics. Both candidates are vying for Hayashi’s seat whose terms ends at the end of the year.