Is Swalwell’s endorsement up for grabs in Alameda County supervisors race?

Rep. Eric Swalwell

ALCO BOARD | DISTRICT 4 | Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley was not happy last week when proponents of giving unincorporated Castro Valley more self-governance through an elected advisory board trotted out the endorsements of Rep. Eric Swalwell and state Sen. Bob Wieckowski.

“I resent the fact that we have a congressman and a state senator that’s weighing-in on a local matter without even consulting with my office around that,” said Miley. “It’s purely local. It has nothing to do with state significance and nor does it have anything to do with national significance and I want the congressman and the state senator to know that.”

The board, known as the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Committee, has its members appointed solely by Miley, which has caused consternation to some Castro Valley residents who want greater local control, possibly leading one day to incorporation. However, the proposal was met with some resistance and was later tabled last week by the Board of Supervisors, but not before Miley admonished the local state and federal leaders for interceding.

However, the outburst is far more significant than it appears, especially with Miley facing a tough re-election campaign this spring against the well-financed Bryan Parker. That’s because the endorsement from Swalwell and possibly Wieckowski could be in play.

The main reason is Parker’s campaign consultant, Lisa Tucker, also ran previous campaigns for Swalwell against Stark in 2012; and Wieckowski in a mud-slinging extravaganza against Mary Hayashi in 2014.

The possibility of Swalwell delivering a high-profile boost to Parker’s bid to unseat the long-time county supervisor would strengthen the challenger’s chances in Pleasanton, where Swalwell is increasingly popular. It’s also a portion of the district where Miley is not well-known after redistricting in 2011 cobbled the city with East Oakland and Castro Valley

Parker also appears to have been building the groundwork for seeking Swalwell’s support for months, at least, since word of his interest in the supervisorial race first surfaced via a telephone poll last summer. According to campaign finance records, Parker contributed $1,500 to Swalwell’s re-election campaign on June 20.

In a statement, Parker said Swalwell and Wieckowski were within their rights to voice an opinion on the Castro Valley issue. In addition, he called Miley’s comments “nonsensical.”

“Any public official serving the population of Castro Valley has a right to weigh in on what is a matter of democracy concerning their shared constituents,” said Parker. “Nate’s outrage over them weighing in seems a further attempt at thwarting the democratic process and having an elected MAC and keeping it appointed.”

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