|Clockwise from the left: Steve Glazer, Tim Sbranti, Catharine Baker and Newell Arnerich.|
MAIN BEEF BART, BART, BART. This race is all about BART, which would seem to favor Glazer, the candidate who has made it his signature issue, but not necessarily. In fact, Baker may be the unintended benefactor of the Glazer/Sbranti war that has attracted closed to $3 million in independent expenditure committee money to the race. It remains to be seen whether a flurry of mailers from pro-Sbranti labor IEs saying Glazer is a flip-flopper who claims to be an independent Democrat at the same time he is a fiscal conservative might induce right-of-center voters to the genuine Republican in Baker. Pundits says yes and have recently vaulted Baker to the top of the pack. However, there is absolutely no consensus over who finishes second. The group of six East Bay Citizen political experts used to determine the predicted order of finish in all races wouldn’t even venture a guess.
QUOTABLE "Republicans, put an effective fiscal conservative in the State Assembly. Vote for Steve Glazer," said a recent mailer sent by Glazer's campaign to AD16 conservatives.
BY THE NUMBERS Voter Registration: Democratic 39.7%; Republican 32.4%; No Party Preference 21.5%.
Campaign Finance, cash on hand through May 17: Glazer $354,057; Baker $192,381; Sbranti $64,833; Arnerich $20,692.
2012 Primary Result: Joan Buchanan (D) 56.7%; Al Phillips (R) 43.3%.
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH 1. Baker 2. Sbranti 3. Glazer 4. Arnerich
ON TO NOVEMBER Catherine Baker is a real find for the local Republican Party. No matter who Baker faces in November, its going to be a very difficult race for any of the competitors, but Baker has shown to be a confident and thoughtful candidate. Which special interests-backed opponent poses the greatest threat to her candidacy is unclear. Judging by the sheer amount money and desperation shown by labor unions, you can venture to guess it would be Sbranti. In addition, the State Democratic Party simply cannot afford to lose another winnable seat in the Legislature. Conversely, Baker vs. Glazer in November is favorable to the Republican, assuming moderate primary voters who might lead her to the top spot on June 3 already made their choice based up the very same matchup.