Friday, January 23, 2015

Sudden Developments in SD 7 Special Election

CA Senate District 7
California State Senate District Seven

Mark Meuser, a small business advocate and attorney from Walnut Creek, the purported Republican candidate for Special Election State Senate District 7, announced through an e-blast to supporters that he would not be running for the March 17 special election.
Mark Meuser
I had contacted Meuser late last year. A former chief of staff for a Missouri Republican legislator along with diverse careers in business and law, toward the end of the previous year, Meuser announced his views and plans on winning the to-be-announced special election. Providing information about the race, and his prospects of another upset in the traditionally Democratic East Bay stronghold, He related about his contacts with local party chairs in the region, specifically Alameda and Contra Costa counties. He had raised a significant amount, but refused to release specifics about  his campaign warchest.

Meuser's chances for victory were hardly negligible, according to local and state political analysts. In the 2014 election, Republican attorney Catharine Baker scored a stunning upset in Assembly District 16, defeating an Establishment Democrat in the general election. During the primary, she had faced off against three Democrats. Governor Brown had endorsed  labor-reform candidate Stephen Glazer, who lost. Glazer then supported Republican Baker, who carried the district by three points.
Assemblywoman Catharine Baker

Her ground game would have served as a launching platform for the Meuser campaign.

The special election for Senate District 7 opened up following the resignation of Senator Mark DeSaulnier, who had defeated Meuser in 2012. After liberal Democratic Congressman George Miller declared hisintentions to retire, DeSaulnier announced his campaign to replace Miller in the 11th Congressional District.

Meuser's announcement not to run coincides with the filing deadline for the race. Following a phone inquiry, Meuser affirmed that he had not filed papers for the seat. He repeated the contents of his eblast, printed below:

After much deliberation. Today I had to make a very difficult decision not to run for the special election for state senate.

 I really appreciated all the supporters who had worked so hard over the last several months. Running for the special election was going to be like running a marathon at a sprinters pace. It was going to be very difficult and a wise man counts the cost before they build a wall lest they get half way through and discover that they do not have the resources to finish. A close examination of how this election was shaping up revealed that the odds of winning were growing to almost impossible.

Many thanks to all those who were encouraging me to run. I really enjoyed campaigning around the district talking to people and hearing the problems that bad government has created. However, more important was learning about the creative solutions on how we could fix California problems. Nonetheless, this race was just not shaping up to be the right opportunity for me.

This development is a stunning departure in the wake of Republican victories throughout the state and the country, with growing momentum for further Republican victories in State Senate Districts 21 (Palmdale) and 37 (Orange County). One Bay Area activist commented that the contents of the email seemed very self-centered, as he was not informed until today (January 23, 2015).
Another report released earlier by the Contra Costa Times announced the following slate of candidates for the 7th State Senate District election on March 17th:

The special election to succeed him [DeSaulnier] has long been expected to feature Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, and former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, both of whom filed before the deadline Friday.
Joan Buchanan (left) and Steve Glazer (right)
Susan Bonilla
But Glazer, who ran unsuccessfully last year to replace Buchanan in the Assembly, was not expected to run this time. Glazer is a long-time political adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown and a more politically centrist Democrat than Buchanan and Bonilla.

Michaela Hertle
Republican Michaela Hertle of Pleasanton and Democrat Terry Kremin of Concord also filed. The five candidates will appear on the ballot in a primary election scheduled for March 17. A runoff between the top two finishers is scheduled for May 19.

Terry Kremin

One Republican and four Democrats will be running to replace Mark DeSaulnier. Inquiries to Republican Michaela Hertle were not answered.

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