East Bay Assembly Matchups Set for the Fall Have Bipartisan Flavor

Catharine Baker in AD16 has the best shot
among East Bay Assembly Republicans
in November. 

ASSEMBLY | Who says the state’s jungle primary muscles out other political parties in November? Four of the five East Bay Assembly contests this fall will feature Democrats versus upstart Republicans.

Oakland Assembymember Rob Bonta, a Democrat, will face a rematch against San Leandro electrician David Erlich, a Republican. Bonta won the two-candidate primary Tuesday night with 84.9 percent of the heavily-Democratic district. Percentage-wise, Bonta’s total was the highest of any race in the East Bay Tuesday night, besting only the 81 percent won by Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee in her 13th Congressional District primary.

Southern Alameda County Assemblymember Bill Quirk easily won the three-person race in the 20th Assembly District. Quirk, seeking re-election for the first time, took over 65 percent of the vote. He will meet Jaime Patino, a Republican from Union City, in November. Patino earned 23 percent in his first political campaign, while Hayward school board member Luis Reynoso came in a distant third with 11 percent. Reynoso also lost the June primary to Quirk in 2012.

Assemblymember Rob Bonta: Percentage-wise,
no other candidate in the East Bay topped his
84 percent of the AD18 primary vote.

San Jose Councilmember Kansen Chu, a Democrat, won the June primary in the 25th Assembly District seat representing the Alameda County Tri Cities and a large portion of Santa Clara County. Chu’s 29 percent topped Republican Bob Brunton, who finished second with 23 percent. The two will meet in November. Brunton’s impressive showing outshined third-place finisher Teresa Cox and Milpitas Councilmember Armando Gomez. Former Fremont police chief Craig Steckler finshed last.

Although Republicans in each of these races will likely face difficulty in defeating their Democratic opponents, the November matchup in the 16th Assembly District represents its greatest opportunity for victory. While moderate Democrats were squabbling and independent expenditure committees were making the primary the most expensive Assembly race in the entire state, Republican Catharine Baker posted an impressive first place finish with 36 percent of the moderate Contra Costa County seat that also stretches to the Oakland Hills.

Baker, who like primary opponent, Steve Glazer, opposes union public transportation strikes, will meet the labor-backed Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, who won 29 percent of the vote. Glazer followed with a disappointing 22 percent and Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich with 12 percent.

The Berkeley 15th Assembly District is the only East Bay race for the lower house of the Legislature that will feature an intramural Democratic matchup in the fall. As expected, Elizabeth Echols won the primary with 31 percent and will face Tony Thurmond, who finished second with 23 percent. Civil Rights attorney Pamela price was third with 17 percent, followed by Sam Kang in the eight-person race.

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