–CHANGING OF THE GUARD IN CA17?–
–Is this truly the end of Rep. Mike Honda’s 16 years in Congress? Is the third time a charm for Ro Khanna, who lost congressional races in 2004 and 2014? The race will be tight and a winner might not be clearly known until a few days. More questions: If Honda wins, will it be because of a large millennial and Latino turnout? After successive brutal races, does Honda lay the groundwork for retiring in 2018? Is Assemblymember Evan Low the heir apparent? A Khanna win will mean the East Bay will have two congressmembers 40 years old and younger.
–DOES CATHARINE BAKER HOLD ON?–
–The stakes are high not only for East Bay GOP Assemblymember Catharine Baker and Pleasanton Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio, but also for Assembly Democrats seeking a two-thirds majority next year. A win for Baker might not inure her from another strong challenge in 2018 because of the toss-up nature of the electorate. One aspect of this race to watch is whether significant numbers of moderates in the 16th Assembly District find no problem voting for Hillary Clinton, while also tabbing Baker? It’s very possible. Cook-Kallio has received an inordinate amount of resources from the California Democratic Party. She even received President Obama’s endorsement. If she does not win this likely tight race, it will mean in two years time, Baker has withstood a blitzkrieg in 2014 from labor unions and now the powerful opposition state party.
–BERKELEY’S NEXT MAYOR WILL BE…–
–Who will win the divisive intra-council matchup for Berkeley mayor between Jesse Arreguin and Laurie Capitelli? Will Councilmember Kriss Worthington’s candidacy and partnership with Arreguin show how well it used ranked-choice voting to its advantage? No matter who wins Tuesday night, a serious reconciliation between Arreguin, Capitelli and their current and new colleagues needs to begin.
–WHITHER COUNTY/CITY TAX MEASURES?–
–Alameda County’s $580 million affordable housing bond Measure A1, BART’s Measure RR $3.5 billion infrastructure bond, and AC Transit’s tax renewal could be facing a tough road on Election Night. Throw other local tax measures into the mix around the East Bay, and the demise of any of these initiatives could cause significant problems going forward. Not to mention, all the fingerpointing that will ensue. Remember the carnage in 2012 when Alameda County’s transportation bond failed by just over 700 votes? The rancor will be exponentially worse.
–SCHAAF’S GOLDEN TOUCH?–
–Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is very popular. Two years after her election, Schaaf is putting her political capital behind two council candidates–Viola Gonzales in District 5 and Peggy Moore in the at-large race. Schaaf’s presence has angered both incumbents–Noel Gallo and Rebecca Kaplan. If neither pulls off the upset, what does it mean for Schaaf. Has she squandered some of her power? Was it wise to back two no-names? How will Kaplan and Gallo react in coming months?
–SODA TAX IN OAKLAND–
–Remember, it’s not just Oakland asking voters to approve a soda tax. Albany in the East Bay and San Francisco are doing the same. Berkeley lead the way, approving a similar measure two years ago. But does the soda revolt spread to other Bay Area cities? Initial indication is the tax has proven to be lucrative for Berkeley’s city coffers. Others will be watching and possibly place their own tax on future ballots. Conventional wisdom is saying Oakland’s soda tax will be approved.
–FIVE RENT CONTROL MEASURES–
–Alameda, Richmond, Oakland, San Mateo, Burlingame and Mountain View voters are making the final determination Tuesday on various rent control initiatives. In the East Bay, what will it mean if rent control passes in Richmond and Alameda? Oakland already has rent control and its additional restriction have faced little opposition. If Alamedans approve the more stringent Measure M1, what happens next? Does the rent control train move on to San Leandro, Hayward, even Fremont? The stakes are high. If not, Alameda’s city council race could provide some solace for renters, depending on the two winners. A stronger rent stabilization ordinance could be a consolation prize for island renters.
–WILL GLAZER, HIS MINIONS REMAKE BART?–
–State Sen. Steve Glazer has it in for BART workers and the system in general. Will his strong advocacy against BART’s Measure RR help torpedo the infrastructure bond? Will any of his followers running against BART Board of Director incumbents be successful Tuesday night? The answers could be yes, no, no, and no.
–WILL SAN LEANDRO COUNCIL SHIFT RIGHT?–
–San Leandro has become a leader in the East Bay. And that perch has stemmed from some very progressive legislation in recent years. Oakland, Alameda and Hayward, for instance, routinely mention San Leandro’s lead on technology issues and pot dispensaries. But, if the council as a whole replaces termed out progressive Jim Prola with District 2 candidate Ed Hernandez, the council could slightly shift back to the center. The labor-backed Bryan Azevedo is the only hope.
–WILL HAYWARD’S POLITICAL WAR CONTINUE?–
–Much has been made about the Hayward City Council’s proactive push to oust a majority of the elected school board. The move has divided the city. Will the slate of three outsiders succeed in finishing off the council’s coup? If not, does the true ire of the city and teachers–school board member Luis Reynoso–win one of the three seats? If so, is the city council ready for his retribution?
–WHAT HAPPENS NEXT FOR LEE, BONTA, SWALWELL–
–The crystal ball could show Rep, Barbara Lee moving on to the Clinton administration or an ambassadorship. Assemblymember Rob Bonta might eye a statewide office in 2018 or even seek Lee’s open seat, if it indeed is available sooner than later. Rep. Eric Swalwell is said to be interested in running for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat in two years. If any of these changes occur upstream, the reverberations down ballot will be awesome.
–CHANGING OF THE GUARD IN CA17?–