Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Endorsement phase for tossup East Bay State Senate race is in full gear

Former Assemblymember Nancy Skinner's campaign
for SD9 has support of a quarter of the State Senate.
STATE SENATE | DISTRICT 9 | Less than nine months from a likely brutal June primary among three former state legislators in the East Bay’s Ninth District, the race still has Democrats choosing sides in the form of a rash of endorsement announcements over the past few months.

During this phase of the campaign former East Bay Assemblymember Sandre Swanson has captured most of the headlines with big endorsements from Rep. Barbara Lee, Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Tony Thurmond, along with the current holder of the seat, the termed out State Sen. Loni Hancock.

Former Berkeley Assemblymember Nancy Skinner on Wednesday made her first foray into the race to capture campaign endorsements when she announced support from more than a quarter of the sitting members in the State Senate. However, of the 12 state senators backing Skinner, just one—Fremont State Sen. Bob Wieckowski—is from the East Bay. In addition, San Mateo State Sen. Jerry Hill, is the only other supporter on the list from the Bay Area.

The rest of Skinner’s support in the upper house is spread out across the seat and includes: State Sens. Jim Beall, Marty Block, Isadore hall, Bob Hertzberg, Ben Hueso, Hannah Beth Jackson, Connie Leyva, Carol Liu, Fran Pavely and Lois Wolk.

Skinner's bulk list of endorsements followed an announcement Monday from Swanson's campaign that he has received the backing of Teamsters Joint Council 7, which includes 110,000 union members in Northern California.

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, another former assemblymember in the race, has not announced any notable support for her campaign, but registered encouraging mid-year campaign fundraising totals. Although, nowhere near the campaign largess reported last July by Skinner, who has amassed more than $925,000, primarily following a transfer from her former Assembly account. In contrast, Swanson's cash reserves, according to the most recent finance report, trailed both Skinner and Chan. Swanson reported just over $80,000 in early cash reserves.

San Pablo Vice Mayor Rich Kinney, the lone Republican in the race so far, is also a candidate along with public education advocate Katherine Welch.


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