Tesla’s Decision to Open Factory in Nevada Puts a Charge into SD10 Race

SD10 opponents Assemblymember Bob
Wiekcowski and Peter Kuo

STATE SENATE | DISTRICT 10 | In the months since the June primary Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski’s campaign has been virtually silent. With Republican challenger Peter Kuo also retreating to his corner of Santa Clara County, the race for the 10th State Senate District has been non-existent until this week.

The decision of Fremont-based Tesla Motors, Inc. to open a large-scale lithium battery factory in Nevada, instead of California, may give Kuo an opportunity to piggyback on a conservative contention the state’s business climate is pushing jobs out of the Golden State. The battery plant is expected to employ 6,500 workers in Nevada.

Wieckowski, a Democrat who represents the area in the State Assembly downplayed Tesla’s announcement this week. “While I am disappointed in Tesla’s apparent decision to locate its battery factory in Nevada, I am proud of California’s partnership with Tesla resulting in significant job growth in Fremont, Santa Clara County and among the automakers’ suppliers,” said Wieckowski. “I am hopeful that as the company grows, Tesla may build additional battery facilities or other specialized facilities in California as it scales up manufacturing for current and future products.”

Tesla Motors auto plant in Fremont.

During a televised California gubernatorial debate Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown signaled a similar sentiment, while noting recent legislation offering Tesla incentives to build the gigifactory in the state were ultimately too costly for taxpayers. Brown suggested the Nevada factory might lower the price of fuel cells, thereby, making Tesla vehicles built in Fremont more affordable.

Kuo, who finished second in the June primary, criticized Wieckowski for his statement. “While my opponent Bob Wieckowski appears to dismiss the severity of this news, I am concerned about the economy and workers in this district. The type of policies that Bob has led on are a root cause of the exodus of businesses to more business friendly states,” Kuo said in a statement. “Tesla’s latest move hits close to home because many of those jobs could have filled by constituents of the 10th Senate District.”

Tesla’s decision is likely to not only dominate this race covering much of the southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County, but also become a frequent talking point for Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, who, like Kuo, has described California’s regulations and tax policies as overly burdensome for business owners.

Categories: Bob Wieckowski, Democrats, electric vehicles, Fremont, Jerry Brown, jobs, Neel Kashkari, November election, Peter Kuo, Republicans, small businesses, Tesla

14 replies

  1. Support Peter Kuo for a better California!


  2. Wieckowski will win by 15-20%!


  3. Wieckowski will lose by 15-20% REMEMBER Bob played dirty. Mary supporters either no vote or against Bob.


  4. I agree with Anonymous! People will remember Bob W. for the negative campaigning in the primary. It was just 'yuck' to have that stuff come into our mailboxes. People will either stay away from that race or vote for Peter Kuo. I will be voting for Peter Kuo (and I am a lifelong Dem who is fed up with Bob W.) I've heard Bob W. speak – he changes his message depending on the audience – which means that he will tell one group something and then tell another group something which conflicts with what he told the first group. I want someone who has the courage to stand up for his/her beliefs, and doesn't change his/her core message when talking to a different audience.


  5. You are a political novice and have no understanding of the huge registration lead in this Democratic District that Bob has. What you wish for and what you get are two different things. People in my area like Bob a lot for his quirkiness, and I don't live in a Democratic part of the District.


  6. What you wish and what you get are two different things…don't you wish Mary's group like Bob a lot for his quirkiness.


  7. You really are not a political person 10:05. Most of the Democrats that voted for Mary did so because she was more liberal than Bob in her voting when in Sacramento. They would rather cut off their arm than vote for a Republican. You will see November 5th, when Bob wins by a large margin in this heavily Democratic District. Watch and learn.


  8. We are Supporting Peter Kuo. We Need California Better .


  9. The families in my neighborhood are supporting the winner—–Bob Wieckowski.


  10. I agree. It would take a miracle for Kuo to pull off an upset. His chances are pretty small. I doubt the Republican party will even try in this Senate District. They have other races to put their effort and money into where they have a better chance.


  11. Miracle happen! YOU HAVE DOUBT, WE HAVE NO DOUBT! Kuo way to go better California. We are behind you! GOP and NO PARTIES! AND MARY'S SUPPORTS! bobby going down!


  12. What a political idiot you are 9:46. Read 1:24 again. He/she knows politics and what will really happen in November. Most of Mary's support were liberal democrats and they will vote for BOB.


  13. 2:56 Simple math GOP+NP+Mary's no vote or against BW


  14. The only simple one is you if you think the liberal Democrats that voted for Mary will support the Republican Kuo. Bob Wieckowski will win by at least 56%-44%. The Republicans aren't even targeting this race because their internal polls show NO chance.


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