A long-time Lafayette resident will run for Contra Costa County District 2 supervisor to replace current supervisor Gayle Uilkema, who will retire at the end of this term. Sean White will campaign alongside Danville Mayor Candace Andersen and Tomi Van De Brooke, president of the county Community College Governing Board.
"The main reason that I'm running is because I don't believe in money in politics. What I'm trying to do is run a money free campaign, and I figured if I could do it other people could start doing it too," White said, noting that he will personally finance his campaign, using social media such as Facebook for promotion.
White ran on a similar platform in the 2000 supervisorial race against Uilkema. Although he lost the election, White continues to hold true to the principals in his campaign statement 12 years ago:
"You the citizen should be able to know what I am really about. County Supervisors who claim to care about the quality of life here should not be taking campaign contributions from developers or oil refineries, period," White wrote. "Accordingly, I will not accept any money from developers, PACs, or corporations; and I will accept no more than $100 from anyone. As a Supervisor I will push for Contra Costa to have the strictest campaign finance laws in California."
A solar energy professor, White is primarily concerned with environmental issues, renewable energy and job creation. If elected, White said he would encourage job growth in the green energy sector by making permitting easier for renewable energy, incentivizing the public and private sectors to install solar on homes and businesses and help residents find financing.
"I also care about air pollution, affordable health care, smart growth -- I live right next to a BART station, and I think it's the greatest thing," he said. "It'd be nice if BART went down from Walnut Creek to Dublin some day; there should be more BART stations…. I think that we should focus more on things like that, better ways to get around, decrease congestion."
Although he wasn't entirely familiar with San Ramon Valley-specific issues, White said he spent most of his life visiting Danville and Alamo. District 2 is comprised of Danville, San Ramon, Alamo, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Canyon, Saranap and Walnut Creek, west of Main Street.
Still, White said he doesn't think his lack of local government experience will hinder his abilities as a supervisor.
"Having no experience is better in some ways because you're not an insider, you don't know all the different ways to sell out. I know that I don't have the best chance of winning this election because of the way I'm doing things, but at least I'm getting some issues out there," he said, adding that a vote for him would not be a spoiler vote in the event of a runoff election.
During his last campaign, White said he was responsible for policy and project changes, particularly in the Gateway Valley between the Caldecott Tunnel and Canyon/Orinda. Developers were going to put a golf course on pristine land that would "move more earth than they did for the Hoover Dam," he noted. After his campaign fired up residents, the developers scaled back their plans.
More information on White can be found on his campaign Facebook page. The county supervisorial election will be held on June 5.