Kissing the ring: These are the East Bay candidates on track for winning the Democratic Party’s seal of approval

Alameda County Democratic Central Committee meeting Sept. 5 at the San Leandro Library.

For many low-information Democratic voters in the East Bay, the party’s seal of approval is a handy way for busy voters to quickly differentiate the large number of candidates appearing on the November ballot. Candidates are well aware of the power the endorsement represents and will spend considerable time lobbying for the prize. Take the past two monthly meetings of the Alameda County Central Committee, for instance, where candidates literally lined up to pay alms to its members. Last Wednesday, those who failed to pass muster with the party’s steering committee, resumed their lobbying effort.

Alameda mayoral candidate Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft was there early pressing the flesh in hopes of winning the party’s endorsement in her bid to unseat incumbent Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer. Oakland’s embattled Councilmember Abel Guillen was there too after a brutal lobbying campaign of members by labor against him appears to have stymied his efforts for the party’s backing.

A steering committee composed of 10 Alameda County Democratic Party leaders last month interviewed 129 candidates for a host of all-important party endorsements. The trove of interviews, in fact, required the local party to schedule an additional day of interviews.

Many of the candidates placed on the consent calendar for the Alameda County Democratic Party’s Sept. 15 full endorsement meeting are almost certain to receive the party’s backing that can be rabidly touted over the next two months and affixed to campaign literature and mailers. Others nominated for the endorsement will have to work for the endorsement before the central committee next Saturday.

Guillen Bas collage
The Oakland District 2 race involving Councilmember Abel Guillen and Nikki Fortunato Bas will be among those Alameda County Democrats will hear from during their Sept. 15 endorsement meeting.

Meanwhile, other forms of horse-trading continue to go on behind the scenes as candidates attempt to get proposed endorsements pulled from consent in order to mount one last try at either gaining the endorsement for themselves or thwarting it for their opponents.

For instance, the steering committee placed endorsements on consent for San Leandro’s mayoral and three council races. But under new rules, items can be pulled from consent if five central committee members (including one from the Assembly district) make the request before this Saturday morning. According to sources, San Leandro’s races were pulled and all its Democratic candidates will fight for the endorsement on Sept. 15.

Conversely, the situation in Oakland is also notable with all of the four races that include a mayoral campaign and three contentious council races still in play. Libby Schaaf and Pamela Price were nominated for mayor. Despite Schaaf’s perceived popularity, the fact she did gain the inside track to the endorsement is yet another sign that East Bay progressives remain skeptical of performance, primarily around the affordable housing and her handle of the Oakland Police Department.

Then, perhaps on the backs on a sustained attack by labor against District 2 incumbent Councilmember Abel Guillen, Democrats, instead, nominated upstart candidate Nikki Fortunato Bas. They also made no determination of District 6 Councilmember Desley Brooks’ re-election. All four Oakland races will likely take center-stage next Saturday.


PLACED ON CONSENT

ALAMEDA COUNCILMEMBER (elect 2) Hon. Jim Oddie, John Knox White. ALAMEDA USD DIRECTOR (elect 2) Mialisa Bonta. CITY OF ALAMEDA HEALTH CARE DIST. DIRECTOR (short term) Dennis Popalardo.

ALBANY USD DIRECTOR (elect 3) Charles Blanchard.

BERKELEY COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 7 Rigel Robinson. BERKELEY COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 8 Hon. Lori Droste. BERKELEY USD DIRECTOR (elect 3) Ty Alper, Ka’dijah Brown, Julie Sinai. BERKELEY RENT STABILIZATION BOARD (elect 5) James Chang, Paola, Laverde-Levine, John Selawsky, Maria Poblet, Soli Alpert. BERKELEY AUDITOR Jenny Wong.

DUBLIN COUNCILMEMBER (elect 2) Jean Josey, Shawn Kumagai. DUBLIN USD DIRECTOR AREA 2 Hon. Megan Rouse.

EMERYVILLE COUNCILMEMBER (elect 2) Scott Donahue, Dianne Martinez. EMERY USD DIRECTOR (elect 3) Hon. Brynnda Collins, Susan Donaldson, Sarah Nguyen.

FREMONT COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 1 Chandrakala Siramdas. FREMONT COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 3 David Bonaccorsi. FREMONT COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 4 Debbie Watanuki. FREMONT USD DIRECTOR (elect 2) Dianne Jones, Fahria Khan.

HAYWARD MAYOR Barbara Halliday. HAYWARD COUNCILMEMBER (elect 2) Aisha Wahab. HAYWARD USD DIRECTOR (elect 2) William L. McGee, Todd Davis.

LIVERMORE MAYOR John Marchand. LIVERMORE COUNCILMEMBER (elect 2) Trish Munro, Neal Pann. LIVERMORE VALLEY JOINT USD DIRECTOR (elect 3) Craig Bueno, David Vonheeder.

NEWARK MAYOR Alan Nagy NEWARK COUNCILMEMBER (elect 2) Mike Bucci. NEWARK USD DIRECTOR (elect 2) Nancy Thomas, Elisa Martinez.

OAKLAND USD DIRECTOR DIST. 2 Aimee Eng. OAKLAND USD DIRECTOR DIST. 4 Clarissa Doutherd. OAKLAND USD DIRECTOR DIST. 6 Shanthi Gonzales. OAKLAND AUDITOR Courtney Ruby.

PIEDMONT COUNCILMEMBER (elect 3) Teddy Gray King, Tim Rood, Betsy Smegal. PIEDMONT USD DIRECTOR (elect 2) Julie Caskey.

SAN LEANDRO MAYOR Pauline Russo Cutter. SAN LEANDRO COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 1 Deborah Cox. SAN LEANDRO COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 3 Lee Thomas. SAN LEANDRO COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 5 Corina Lopez.

UNION CITY COUNCILMEMBER (elect 3) Emily Duncan, Pat D. Gacoscos, Harris Mojadedi. NEW HAVEN USD DIRECTOR (elect 2) Linda Canlas, Sarabjit Kaur Cheema.

A.C. TRANSIT DIRECTOR WARD 4 Mark Williams. A.C. TRANSIT DIRECTOR WARD 5 Kewal Singh.

BART DIRECTOR DIST. 4 Robert Raburn. BART DIRECTOR DIST. 6 Anu Natarajan.

CHABOT-LAS POSITAS CCD TRUSTEE AREA 2 Linda Granger.

DUBLIN SAN RAMON CSD DIRECTOR (elect 2) Georgeann Vonheeder.

EAST BAY MUD DIRECTOR DIST. 7 Frank Mellon.

EAST BAY REG. PARK DIST DIRECTOR DIST. 3 Dennis Waespi. EAST BAY REG. PARK DIST DIRECTOR DIST. 5 Ayn Wieskamp.

EDEN TOWNSHIP HOSPITAL DIST DIRECTOR (elect 3) Roxann Lewis, Mariellen Faria, Felix Martinez.

FAIRVIEW FIRE PROTECTION DIST DIRECTOR (elect 2) Michael Justice.

OHLONE CCD TRUSTEE AREA 1 (elect 2) Vivien Larsen, Richard Watters. OHLONE CCD TRUSTEE AREA 2 (elect 2) Suzanne Chan, Lovedeep Jhamat. OHLONE CCD TRUSTEE AREA 2 (short term) Tejinder Dhami.

ORO LOMA SANITARY DIST DIRECTOR (elect 3) Shelia Young, Rita Duncan, Frederick Simon, Jr.

PERALTA CCD TRUSTEE DIST. 3 Linda L. Handy.

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP HEALTH CARE DIST DIRECTOR (elect 3) Jacob Eapen, Michael J. Wallace, Bernard L. Stewart.


NOMINATED FOR ENDORSEMENT

BERKELEY COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 1 Rashi Kesarwani, Margo Schueler, Igor A. Tregub.

FREMONT COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 2 Rick Jones, Cullen Tiernan.

HAYWARD COUNCILMEMBER (elect 2) Sara Lamnin.

OAKLAND MAYOR Libby Schaaf, Pamela Price. OAKLAND COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 2 Nikki Fortunato Bas. OAKLAND COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 4 Pamela Harris, Sheng Thao.

CHABOT-LAS POSITAS CCD TRUSTEE AREA 3 (short term) Genevieve Randolph, Harpal Mann.

PERALTA CCD TRUSTEE DIST. 5 William Riley.

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