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Sep
25
Race to succeed Alameda County Supervisor Haggerty starting to heat up

Four candidates so far vying to win District 1 seat on county board

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Candidates to declare intent for District 1 supervisor election so far are (from left) Fremont Councilman Vinnie Bacon, Dublin Mayor David Haubert, Dublin Vice Mayor Melissa Hernandez and State Senator Bob Wieckowski. (Contributed photos)

by Jeremy Walsh / Pleasanton Weekly

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Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty announced back in June that he would not seek re-election to a seventh term, setting the stage for a hotly contested campaign to win the District 1 seat. (Photo courtesy of MTC)

The race to replace retiring Tri-Valley Supervisor Scott Haggerty on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is beginning to take shape.

Four people with a variety of elected office experience have already announced their intent to run for Haggerty's District 1 seat: Fremont City Councilman Vinnie Bacon, Dublin Mayor David Haubert, Dublin Vice Mayor Melissa Hernandez and State Sen. Bob Wieckowski of Fremont.

The nomination petition period for the March 3 primary election officially opened two weeks ago. To date, none of the supervisor candidates have taken out nomination papers from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office -- they, and any other prospective challengers, have until Dec. 6 to file -- but all are actively campaigning for the District 1 seat.

Haggerty, who is from Livermore, set the stage for a hotly contested election when he announced in June that he would not seek re-election, retiring from public service after his current term to cap 24 years in office.

The District 1 seat represents the cities of Livermore and Dublin, most of Fremont and unincorporated communities in eastern Alameda County, including Sunol.

So far, the ballot is shaping up to pit Dublin against Fremont.

In announcing his candidacy, Haubert cited a "track record of success" over years of elected experience on the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees, Dublin City Council and now as the city's mayor.

"I'm proud of many accomplishments which have improved the quality of life in my community. But, there is still work to do in the East Bay regarding transportation, bringing jobs closer to home and keeping our communities safe," he said on his campaign page.

Hernandez, first-term City Council member in Dublin and the currently appointed vice mayor, said she aims to bring a fresh perspective to the county board.

"As supervisor, I want to help hard-working families move into the middle class, to protect our social services that help veterans and the elderly, create more affordable housing and improve transportation and public safety to ensure safe, successful and vibrant communities for all Alameda County families," she said on her campaign site. "I know the importance of these critical county services. I know what they mean to families because I've lived it."

Wieckowski, who is being termed out of the State Senate in 2020, also cites years worth of elected experience and accomplishments, which includes time on the Fremont City Council and in the State Assembly as well.

His campaign page said key issues for him on the Board of Supervisors would be "improving our transportation infrastructure, addressing homelessness and our housing crisis, expanding quality health care access and fighting poverty, and taking urgent action on climate change."

Bacon, a second-term Fremont City Council member elected at-large, is bringing his "clean money candidate" campaign from his city elections to his county bid.

"As a county supervisor, I will continue my fight to stop the profit-driven poorly planned developments that are creating traffic gridlock, threatening our open spaces, and damaging the quality of life in the Bay Area," he said on his campaign site.

Former Dublin mayor Tim Sbranti's name has also been linked to the District 1 supervisor race, but Sbranti confirmed to the Weekly on Monday that though he initially considered running for Haggerty's seat, he has decided not to pursue it.

Sbranti, who lost a tight election for State Assembly in 2014, currently works as athletic director at Dublin High School and was appointed earlier this year to fill a vacant trustee seat on the Chabot-Las Positas Community College Board of Trustees, which is an elected office.

"I was getting a lot of encouragement to run and did consider it for a moment, but due to my existing family and work commitments ultimately decided to pass," Sbranti said. "I am enjoying my work in education as the Athletic Director at Dublin High School and the Chabot-Las Positas College Board along with my consulting for the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group. I feel I can continue to make a positive impact in the community through those roles at this time."

The local election cycle just began, in an official sense, with prospective candidates able to take out nomination petitions from the county elections office starting Sept. 12. The nomination documents and declaration of candidacy must be filed by Dec. 6 to qualify for the primary ballot.

Any candidate could win the District 1 position outright in the primary election if they earn more than 50% of the vote. If no one wins a majority in March, then the top two finishers would advance to a runoff to be held during the general election on Nov. 3.

For more information about pursuing candidacy, visit www.acvote.org or call 510-272-6933.

Other March contests

District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley, who represents Pleasanton on the Board of Supervisors, has already launched his campaign for re-election to a sixth consecutive term.

No challenger has announced a bid to unseat Miley thus far. The district also includes East Oakland, Montclair, Castro Valley, Ashland, Cherryland, Fairview and El Portal Ridge.

Also up for election this year is the District 5 seat, which is held by Supervisor Keith Carson and represents Berkeley, parts of Oakland and other areas.

Pleasanton residents, like peers in Livermore and Dublin, will get the chance to vote on three regular, four-year seats on the Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors -- at-large positions currently held by Sandy Figuers, Dick Quigley and Angela Ramirez Holmes -- as well as a fourth position, a special two-year term for the previously vacated seat filled by short-term appointment by Michelle Smith McDonald.

The Zone 7 seats will be decided outright in March.

For higher offices, Pleasanton's Democrat representatives in Congress (U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell) and the State Legislature (Senator Steve Glazer and Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan) are running for re-election, with the lists of potential challengers still emerging.

There are four seats on the Alameda County Board of Education will appear on the March ballot, but none of those districts include Pleasanton. Also, 27 Alameda County Superior Court judgeships are due for re-election; challengers are uncommon for incumbent judges.

Pleasanton voters will also have their say in the U.S. presidential primary election. Neither of California's two U.S. Senate seats are due up for election in 2020.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story neglected to include the fourth Zone 7 board position (a special, two-year term) that will also be on the ballot in March.


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