The candidate for Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors with perhaps the most experience in local county government has decided against a campaign for Supervisor Scott Haggerty’s open seat in the Tri-Valley and Fremont area.

Haggerty’s long-time chief of staff Shawn Wilson told supporters Wednesday that he would not join the wide-open March primary because of family issues. His decision leaves four candidates in the race who have filed statements of intent to replace Haggerty, who announced last spring that he would not run for re-election next year after 22 years in office.

Wilson Shawn

“After many lengthy discussions with my kids, I’ve decided that I can’t run for Supervisor and still maintain 50 percent custody Of my kids. Me living in Livermore and the commute between Brentwood and Livermore would make it impossible to fulfill my fatherly duties,” Wilson wrote.

“I cannot lie to my kids and say I won’t miss their school functions or their sporting events. I love being a father much more than being a county supervisor. So, I have to be out. Not sure who I’ll support. Your loyalty and support is very humbling to me and I appreciate your support and friendship more than you know. I never have done the county work for other reasons than making sure the community is taken care of and I will
continue to do that as I finish out my bosses term.”

Former Tri-Valley assemblymember Catharine Baker recently decided against a run for Haggerty’s seat out of the same concerns for her children’s well-being.

Although Wilson is not a household name among regular voters, he is well-known among East Bay insiders. Wilson previously served as former Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker’s chief of staff.

Wilson’s political connections all over the county, in addition, to positive relationships with public safety groups and local unions had many insiders pegging him as a dark horse candidate to advance to the November 2020 General Election.

Early ALCO District 1 candidates

  • Vinnie Bacon, Fremont councilmember
  • David Haubert, Dublin mayor
  • Melissa Hernandez, Dublin councilmember
  • Bob Wieckowski, state senator

Most observers view the District 1 supervisorial race as fluid with just six months before the Mar. 3 primary. Wieckowski’s early campaign has taken a low-profile, while Bacon, the plucky insurgent candidate from Fremont, has been canvassing door-to-door around the district for more than two months.

The candidates from Dublin could cancel each other out in their own city. But Hernandez, at this time the only female candidate in the race, could be have a leg up for winning one of two likely slots on the November 2020 ballot.

Based on the composition of the early field, it is unlikely any candidate will surpass 50 percent of the primary vote required to avoid a runoff in November 2020.