March 19, 2015
Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer wanted to make the special election for a state Senate seat a test on whether Bay Area Democrats were willing to expand their base to include candidates who were less than a “supersized liberal” on matters such as taxes, union influence and business environment.
The math would suggest Glazer is a slight favorite. He received more than 32 percent of the vote, compared with slightly less than 25 percent for Bonilla. The two will be competing for the votes of Democrat Joan Buchanan 22 percent) and Republican Michaela Hertle (17 percent).
Glazer, a longtime strategist to Gov. Jerry Brown, has rankled the unions for all the right reasons. He has helped elect centrist Democrats who, unlike so many of their brethren in the State Capitol, do not reflexively cater to labor’s every whim.
The deluge of outside money in the primary is certain to continue in the runoff for the district that includes a large chunk of Contra Costa County and Alameda County’s Tri-Valley. That’s the downside of this widely watched race. The upside is that Glazer has assured that voters will have a well-defined choice in this solidly Democratic district.