State Sen. Steve Glazer is without a doubt the most unpopular incumbent Democrat in the deep blue East Bay political establishment. Alameda County Democrats loath him for his stance against BART union employees.
Others despised him for his failure to provide any assistance to Democrat Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s major upset of Republican Assemblymember Catharine Baker last year. Glazer had forged a long-term alliance with Baker to the consternation of many local Democrats.
All this leads to the fact the 7th District state senator will need to argue his case for receiving the California Democratic Party’s endorsement at this weekend’s convention in Long Beach.
The mere fact the endorsement is even on the party’s agenda Saturday points squarely to the disharmony toward Glazer among East Bay Democrats.
At last month’s pre-endorsement meeting, Glazer failed to achieve the simple majority of Contra Costa County Democrats required to virtually ensure the endorsement at the party convention. The vote is a clear rebuke of Glazer’s tenure in Sacramento.
Incumbent Democrats rarely need to do much jockeying for the party’s endorsement. Only the open assembly seat in the Fremont and South Bay’s 25th District was up for debate in the East Bay at last month’s pre-endorsement meeting. (In that race, no candidate came close to winning the endorsement.)
Fellow Democrat Marisol Rubio, a first-time candidate, received more votes than the incumbent Glazer last month.
Rubio received 50 percent of the vote. Glazer received 38 percent, along with 12 percent who backed no endorsement.
Rubio’s ability to garner at least 50 percent was crucial. It meant the question of the party’s endorsement would be decided at the convention. Under the party’s bylaws. A candidate who receives at least 70 percent of the pre-endorsement vote is nearly assured the often pivotal official party support.
However, whether Rubio can win the endorsement at the convention is a big question on Saturday. It would amount to major upset likely to grab the attention of East Bay and statewide Democratic party leaders. But blocking Glazer from receiving the party’s backing would also account for a major victory for Rubio’s campaign.