Jan. 20, 2012 | Adnan Shahab's second bid for the state assembly ended before it even started. The second amendment crusader and lone Republican in the race for the 20th assembly district issued a statement Friday on his Web site announcing his intention to not pursue a run at Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi's termed-out seat.
"There is still no doubt in my mind that I am the best person to represent Assembly District 20 in Sacramento," said Shahab. "But at the same time, I believe the voters in the district are not ready to comprehend the fact that I am exactly the kind of person who they should be electing into office. For now, the majority of the voters in the area seem to be content electing unremarkable people into office."
Shahab also said lukewarm media attention and fundraising for his campaign also entered into to his decision to drop out. He also had pointed words for the amount of voter apathy he has experienced recently among the constituents of the 18th and 20th districts. Most of whom, he says, do not know the name of their representative or have very little knowledge of their views or accomplishments.
"I condemn the ignorance and apathy on the part of these people, as well as their acceptance of mediocrity in their elected officials. Clearly, I am not the right person to represent these people at this time," Shahab said.
He also alluded to the great difficulty among Bay Area Republicans of any conservative stripe to compete in one of the bluest areas in the country. In many cases, the Republican Party hardly offers any support to local candidates. Most times, the most angriest, least qualified Republican is often the only candidate for consideration.
"The stark reality in such a voting area as Assembly District 20 is that the Democrat candidate, no matter how bad of a person he or she may be, will always win over a Republican candidate. The deck is stacked so far in the favor of the Democrats that a Republican has no chance."
An East Bay political consultant said Shahab's exit from the race is likely a positive for whichever of the remaining four candidates emerges as front runners, but doubts any voters interested in voting for Shahab will gravitate to any of the other remaining more liberal candidates. "Those people probably won't even vote," they said.
Hayward Councilman Bill Quirk, Union City Mayor Mark Green, New Haven school board member Sarabjit Cheema and Jennifer Ong are the remaining candidates for the seat representing Hayward, Union City and a chunk of Fremont.
In recent weeks, Shahab's Facebook page, which he used as both a personal and political forum had become filled comments exuding a bizarre combination of vanity and chauvinism. During one string of status updates he railed against the choices in girlfriends of rich and successful people like Michael Jordan and Mark Zuckerberg, who he believes had earned the right to procure only the most beautiful of woman.
He also routinely uploaded photos of scantily-clad women in bikinis in addition to periodic lamentations on his love life. His inability to separate his personal life from his political life, at times, undermined a thoughtfully-crafted conservative political mind in the making.
Shahab's experience in the game of politics was likely clouded by his 2010 defeat to Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski. Shahab espoused a knowledgeable grasp of the conservative ideology of small government and personal rights. His advocacy of open carry gun laws, though, placed him even further away from liberal moderates in the Fremont area, but his confrontational style also seemed to unnerve Wieckowski during the campaign two years ago.
In the lone debate with Wieckowski in 2010, Shahab appeared to be the better candidate, or, at least, finer debater. He often had the more experienced former Fremont councilman on the run throughout the 30-minute forum. Unfortunately, the type of voter disinterest Shahab mentioned for droppin out the race this year was on display that night with only a few dozen spectators in attendance.
"Without an honest effort on the part of the electorate to get to know the candidates, they simply wind up voting for the person with all of the fancy glossy ads touting that they are a Democrat and that they will give you things for voting for them," he said. "It really is disgusting."