|Democrat Bob Wieckowski and Republican Peter Kuo.|
WHAT’S THE BEEF Reversing Prop. 209 has been an issue, but it was somewhat quelled when Assembly Democrats stifled the bill’s momentum out of fear for having a candidate like Kuo manipulate it at the detriment of Democrats. Wieckowski has tried to distance himself from the decision-making process early in SCA-5, but Kuo isn’t buying it. In the few times the candidates have met in public, both have retreated to their partisan corners. Kuo routinely links Wieckowski to the Democratic status quo in Sacramento and criticizes their hand in high taxes, the lost of corporations out of the state and low rankings of California students. The line of attack is similar to other local statewide races containing a Democrat and a Republican this fall.
PAST RESULTS 2014 June Primary: 1. Bob Wieckowski (D) 36,773 (35.4%) 2. Peter Kuo (R) 27,332 (26.3%) 3. Mary Hayashi (D) 21,448 (20.6%) 4. Roman Reed (D) 14,098 (13.6%) 5. Audie Bock (NPP) 4,284 (4.1%).
CAMPAIGN FINANCE (Through Sept. 30): Wieckowski $105,809 cash on hand, $113,350 since; Kuo $45,538; $5,100 since.
OUTLOOK Kuo did Wieckowski a big favor last June by helping end the political career of Hayashi. Wieckowski still would have been a clear favorite to beat Hayashi this November, but with her left by the wayside, he will be able to enter the State Senate next month without the use of crutches and a few nasty cuts on his face. With Hayashi out of the picture, Wieckowski has done little fundraising and mounted merely a perfunctory fall campaign. But, with this easy victory comes worrisome questions way down the line for the Democratic Party. Kuo, despite the likely poor result, has gotten the attention of the statewide GOP. In a state party working hard to change its image as too old and too white, here comes Kuo, a Taiwanese American who may have found a way to entice Asian Americans into the GOP’s tent. Despite his accomplishments, Kuo is an extremely raw politician, but that’s also part of his charm. Like with Catharine Baker in the 16th Assembly District, the local GOP has found another diamond in the rough in Kuo.
PREDICTION 1. Wieckowski 2. Kuo.