The first sign of campaign upheaval almost always contains elements of a shake up in staff. After major blowouts over the past two months, Pete Stark replaces his campaign manager Alex Tourk with Sharon Cornu. The local labor stalwart begins to highlight Swalwell’s conservative conundrum and tries to link him to Republican figure heads in Washington. Whether it helped or not is debatable, but Stark’s earlier gaffes prove too ingrained in the voter’s minds.

San Leandro Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak abruptly resigns. She announces her resignation July 3, but fails to offer the city an actually resignation letter. This holds up the search for interim replacement until September when planning commissioner Tom Dlugosh is given the short three-months ending her second term in office. Starosciak’s reason for quitting? She’s too broken up over her loss for mayor in….2010!

Union City Mayor Mark Green won’t take no for answer. He announces a third run for county supervisor in the last two years. The independent Green, however, will makes another surprise showing in the fall, but ultimately, like his other attempts for Oak Street, fall short.

The tea leaves are beginning to point to Rob Bonta in the 18th Assembly District race as a trifecta of support comes his way. Not only does the Democratic Party bless Bonta’s campaign over Abel Guillen, but so does local liberal lion Sandre Swanson. The coup de grace comes later when the powerful California Nurses Assocation offers its dual support to Bonta.

Mary Hayashi moves closer to running for Alameda County supervisor after declaring an intent to run. The same day Bill Lockyer files for divorce from the embattled Nadia Lockyer and seeks joint custody of their young son.

The dueling recall campaigns against Oakland Mayor Jean Quan continue to go nowhere, while a small group of Dublin residents announce intentions to recall Eric Swalwell. Later, in a similar vein, vocal Alamedans try to do the same for Rob Bonta. None of the campaigns go anywhere and prove such gambits only work if your alternative is an aging Hollywood movie star.

The land of uncool, better known as San Leandro, turns a surprising corner after its mayor and City Council indicate interest in allowing medical cannabis dispensaries within city limits. The council is advised to table the proposal for banning the marijuana operations amid legal uncertainty, but also asks staff to compose a potential ordinance allowing at least two dispensaries in its industrial zones.

The Citizen reports Hayward school board members Jesus Armas and Maribel Heredia are in the midst of a secret love affair. Text messages show the two are more than friends and show an undeniable romantic tone. Both, however, are in relationships, and their rendezvous test the limits of the state’s sunshine laws. Neither admit the affair, but later fail to finalize papers to run for re-election in November. The school district is shellshocked, Hayward city leaders are terrifyingly mum on the matter and the local newspaper tries its hardest to ignore the scandal.

Alameda County becomes the first municipality in the U.S. to pass a comprehensive pharmaceutical drug disposal ordinance. Led by board President Nate Miley, the ordinance raises concerns from Big Pharma and a threat of legal action. Nothing comes to pass the industry must now work with retailers to create programs for residents to properly dispose of their unused or expired medications.

The Citizen reports Hayward school board member Maribel Heredia told attorney’s under oath for her child custody hearing that she has attention deficit disorder and does not read the board’s agenda packet. She insinuates someone else does the reading for her and tell her how she should vote. Jesus Armas, maybe? Who knows?

Abel Guillen, hoping to stanch the tidal wave of good fortune that followed Bonta in July, files a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission. He alleges Bonta failed to properly disclose campaign finance reports with the secretary of state’s office during his 2010 run for Alameda City Council. The FPPC later dismisses the claim after Bonta admits and corrects the seemingly small error.

The potential of a federal takeover of the Oakland Police Department, following its decade of inaction in reforming the department following the Riders scandal, still lingers as a report faults its response to Occupy Oakland. A defaced picture of Mayor Jean Quan at the Oakland PD offices elicits calls of racism and later the city administration insinuates the federal overseer of the department made unwanted advances on her.

The first official expression of discontent toward Mary Hayashi’s run for county supervisor is delivered in Fremont, when the Tri Cities Democratic Forum and South Alameda County Young Democrats issue of a vote of no-confidence against her.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Pete Stark’s three youngest children receive Social Security benefits. Swalwell uses the report to show Stark is misusing the benefit, while Stark attempts to describe Swalwell as using the very conservative mantra of “means testing.”

Oakland Councilwoman Jane Brunner and City Attorney Barbara Parker begin what will surprisingly be the roughest political race in Oakland. It starts with Brunner alleging Parker putting politics before legal policy over the proposed Goldman Sachs rate swap and later leads to Brunner saying Parker is using her office to procure campaign donations with those who receive city contracts.

San Leandro council candidate Chris Crow commits the first of many hilarious errors when The Citizen reports discontent among the city’s Asian leaders after a Facebook posting by Crow has elements of discrimination toward Chinese Olympians. Later, a report showing he was cited for possession of marijuana in 2010 is denied. He admits it later—word-for-word.

The Citizen reports Hayward school board member Maribel Heredia did not miss a Aug. 22 meeting because of a death in the family, but according to her Facebook page, was vacationing in Southern California. The school district still chooses to pay her for the missed day.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for Nadia Lockyer comes this: she is arrested in Orange County for child endangerment when an anonymous tip tells police illegal drugs are being used at the house she is staying.

Former Assembly candidate Joel Young makes a return to the headlines when he acts the attorney for a man suing In-N-Out Burger for racial discrimination in its hiring practices. Apparently, Young is angling to become the region’s new John Burris and pop up in every case he deems worthy of getting his face before television cameras.

The contentious at-large council race in Oakland finally gets heated when Ignacio De La Fuente alleges Rebecca Kaplan was part of the Occupy Oakland movement. He also charges her with being unfriendly to public safety even though it was IDLF who voted to trim the ranks of the OPD. Later, he will mock Kaplan’s signature ensemble of vests in a much-criticized email featuring his staff in Kaplan’s favorite article of clothing.

“The Secret” is revealed. In June, Valle hinted at a singular reason why the Board of Supervisors picked him over Ana Apodaca. Sources told The Citizen, Apodaca was alleged to have a supporter in the board chambers relaying the questions asked to her opponents for the appointment. Apodaca vehemently denies the allegation.

Alameda County Democrats easily endorse Richard Valle for county supervisor over Mary Hayashi. The marginalization of Hayashi is clear at party headquarters in Hayward as most of those in attendance appear to shun Hayashi. Subsequent, events and forum often show Hayashi sitting alone and sad.

A television report alleges Oakland District 5 candidate Mario Juarez welshed on two loans worth a combined $240,000. He denies the accusation, but it follows a similar allegation from his 2008 run for City Council. A few weeks later, an attorney interrupts a forum to serve him with papers. Some speculate the events show the hallmarks of Juarez’s hated rival, Ignacio De La Fuente.

IPadGate erupts in San Leandro as Morgan Mack-Rose alleges her opponent, Councilwoman Ursula Reed urged the cash-strapped city to buy iPads so she could have one of her own. Mack-Rose says Reed accepted an iPad. She denies it and the city corroborates her story. “Check your facts, sister,” Reed later says.