SD-10 June Primary Preview: A Battle Royale in the East Bay

STATE SENATE | 10TH DISTRICT | The most important event in one of this year’s most vicious primary races in the state did not occur in 2014, but on October 25, 2011. That was the day when then-Assemblymember Mary Hayashi was arrested outside of Neiman Marcus in San Francisco with three pieces of shoplifted clothing worth $2,450. Hayashi eventually pleaded no contest to criminal charges, and her probation is nearing an end, but she’s still carrying the baggage of that day, and the incident may ultimately decide whether she will win a spot in the top two among five candidates running for the East Bay’s 10th state Senate district in the June 3 primary.

In 2012, Hayashi launched a surprising run for Alameda County supervisor just months after the shoplifting incident, and one of the main questions of that campaign centered on whether Union City Councilmember Richard Valle would use the scandal as a hammer against her. Valle never really did, and then cruised to victory…