Home PageInfo & LinksSite MapCommentaryAnnouncementsRecommendationsFeedbackPets Election 2007/08

Another Hat in the Ring
(5/30/07)

Joan Buchanan, Trustee of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District since 1990, is planning to run for Houston's Assembly seat in 2008. "I feel like I can make a difference," Buchanan told the Observer, "My children are grown and I just became a Grandmother last Monday." Buchanan said the School District was in financial trouble when she first took office, and now it is financially strong with good relations with the surrounding communities and labor.

Buchanan plans to file paperwork on July 1, 2007. She looked over the list of other Democrats who filed, and feels she has the most name recognition and would be the strongest candidate. She said Terry Coleman, who ran against Houston last time, isn't going to run.

Buchanan says she's friends with Mayor H. Abram Wilson of San Ramon, who has filed as a Republican. If Wilson is the Republican nominee, Buchanan says it will be a cordial campaign. Buchanan is dismayed by the cost of elections in California, and says she favors a "clean money" law like those passed in Maine and Arizona. However half the candidates on the Secretary of State's list below, including Wilson, have not agreed to spending limits. 

 

Assembly Race Heats Up
(5/27/07)

While whales are swimming to Sacramento, a whole raft of local politicians are donning water wings and heading that way too. Assemblyman Guy Houston will potentially term out next year, leaving the 15th Assembly District seat up for grabs. Houston has expressed interest in running for the 11th Congressional District, in which Republican Richard Pombo was upset by Democrat Jerry McNerney in 2006. McNerney won by over 7% of the vote, and has been active in the District, making it more difficult for a Republican to break through again.

And it isnít a sure thing that Houston wonít run for Assembly in 2008. A measure is proposed for the February 5, 2008 primary ballot to extend sitting Assembly and State Senatorís terms by another four years. If this measure makes it to the ballot and passes, Houston may decide to stay put for two more terms.

That isnít stopping local politicians from filing paperwork to run for Houstonís Assembly seat. Six Democrats and four Republicans are listed on the Secretary of Stateís website so far.  San Ramonís Mayor H. Abram Wilson jumped on board last week.

The YES/NO column in the table below is whether or not the candidate will stick to spending limits.

COLEMAN, TERRY

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 15

DEMOCRATIC

NO

FILSON, STEVE

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 15

DEMOCRATIC

YES

KAMENA, SCOTT

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 15

REPUBLICAN

YES

KLASKE, FREDERIC C.

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 15

DEMOCRATIC

YES

LLOYD, JUDY BIVIANO

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 15

REPUBLICAN

NO

ONONIWU, DAVIES

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 15

DEMOCRATIC

YES

RAO, ROBERT

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 15

REPUBLICAN

NO

THOMAS, STEVE

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 15

DEMOCRATIC

NO

VAN SCHAACK, CHRIS L.

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 15

DEMOCRATIC

NO

WILSON, ABRAM

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 15

REPUBLICAN

NO

 

Wilson is also running for reelection as Mayor this year, which would be his third term if he wins. In the 2005 election he ran unopposed, and there doesn't appear to be any challenger on the horizon right now.

In 2002 the City Council put Measure H on the ballot to change San Ramon elections from odd years to even years. The measure lost because it would have extended the terms of the existing City Council, and a majority of voters didnít want that.  In 2004 the Council put an advisory measure, Measure V, on the ballot to see if voters wanted to go to even years without extending terms. Measure V passed, but the current City Council didnít heed the votersí advice and did nothing to change to even years. 

A reliable source told the Observer that the real reason for keeping San Ramonís elections in odd years isnít the ďnoiseĒ of even year elections distracting voters from local candidates and issues, which is the argument most frequently used by current city Councilmembers.  San Ramonís odd year elections allow the Mayor and Councilmembers to run for even year offices, such as Assembly or County Supervisor, while keeping their Council seats safe in case they lose. 

So Wilson is hedging his bets. If heís reelected Mayor this year, heíll stay Mayor unless heís elected to the Assembly seat.  If heís elected to the Assembly seat, next yearís Vice Mayor will probably become Mayor until the next city election in 2009, and someone will be appointed to fill the vacancy on the Council for the remainder of the Vice Mayorís term.

That prospect might add some fireworks to the upcoming City Council race, which looks like it might be shaping up in the new blogs. Of course if some of the anonymous bloggers choose to run, they will have to take the bags off their heads so voters will know who they are.


 
 
San Ramon Observer | Ongoing | Site Map | Commentary | Announcements | Recommendations | Feedback | Pet Adoptions