Here are the DanvilleSanRamon.com editorial board's endorsements of candidates for State Assembly, State Senate and Congress positions representing the San Ramon Valley. We reached our decisions based on email interviews on endorsements, and our review of past reporting and other research.
State Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) is running for a second straight term representing the Tri-Valley and the rest of the 16th Assembly District.
Bauer-Kahan has impressed in the nearly 22 months since she was sworn into elected office for the first time, with a range of legislative accomplishments in the State Assembly including bipartisan bills on gun safety, climate change and streamlining government processes as well as leading the first-ever Select Committee on Women's Reproductive Health.
She has also represented Tri-Valley priorities well in Sacramento, including authoring a bill to better preserve Tesla Park southeast of Livermore and advocating in favor of local control amid the state housing policy debate.
Facing her on the Nov. 3 ballot is Joe Rubay (R-Alamo), who sits on the Alamo Police Services Advisory Committee. He is prioritizing COVID-19 recovery, transportation, the environment and returning political balance to the State Capitol. But with Rubay lacking elected legislative experience, we needed to see a more detailed campaign platform including specific achievable policy proposals.
Vote to re-elect Rebecca Bauer-Kahan to Assembly District 16.
State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) is campaigning for a second full term after winning a special election in May 2015 as an Orinda councilman to fill the State Senate District 7 vacancy at the time.
In the five-plus years since, Glazer has proven himself to be a worthy legislator who prioritizes the needs and desires of District 7 constituents, even if it means voting against the party line from time to time. He is exactly the sort of thoughtful, independent decision-maker that the Tri-Valley deserves.
Glazer's track record of bipartisan legislative successes on topics like assault weapons, flavored tobacco and protecting small businesses speaks for itself, as do his key goals for the term ahead such as public education, the environment, advocating for local control and responsible budgeting.
Opposing on the ballot is Julie Mobley, a Danville resident running for public office for the first time who advanced out of the March primary as the lone Republican candidate with next to no campaign. Mobley highlights important topics such as business and school reopenings, infrastructure, reducing fire risk and public safety, but she offers few actionable policy proposals and has no prior legislative experience. The State Senate should not be an entry-level political position, especially in 2020.
Vote to re-elect Steve Glazer to Senate District 7.
U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), a longtime legislator with years of local and state elected service experience before joining Congress, is running for a fourth straight term representing the 11th Congressional District, which includes Alamo, Blackhawk, Diablo and most of Danville.
First and foremost, we're happy to see DeSaulnier has made significant strides in his recovery from the serious bout of non-COVID pneumonia that nearly took his life earlier this year. He has returned to a full work schedule and remains the active, responsive congressman he's been for the previous six years.
DeSaulnier has a long record of delivering results in and for Contra Costa County over the past three decades, which is why he's the right person to serve District 11 during the important two years ahead as the whole nation works to navigate through and rebound from the pandemic. He is wisely prioritizing COVID-19 relief for residents and businesses, protecting frontline workers and getting the economy back on track, while also having an eye toward transportation, the environment, racial justice, and safeguarding Medicare and Social Security.
Opposing the incumbent is Republican political newcomer Nisha Sharma, a real estate professional who lives in Danville. She has a long list of topic areas that she aims to prioritize, but we remain unconvinced by the lack of specific detail in her campaign platform. A challenger needs to have -- and demonstrate -- a game plan for accomplishing their goals should they win, especially if they're someone who's never been elected to public office before.
Vote to re-elect Mark DeSaulnier for District 11.
U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore), a former Dublin city councilman and Alameda County prosecutor, is seeking a fifth consecutive term representing San Ramon, a small part of Danville and the rest of the 15th Congressional District.
In these uncertain times, District 15 needs a representative with legislative experience, deep ties to the Tri-Valley and institutional knowledge with sincere, actionable policy goals aimed at improving residents' quality of life. Based on those important criteria, Swalwell stands alone in this contest.
Like we wrote ahead of the primary in March, we hear the criticisms of certain readers lamenting Swalwell's rising profile in D.C. -- the notion that he's focused on his national image, TV appearances or party standing, rather than discernible accomplishments in and for the Tri-Valley. Or, maybe they're just projecting because they don't like his politics or vocal presence?
Objectively, Swalwell is the only viable candidate on this ballot -- and a highly qualified one at that. His opponent, Alison Hayden (R-Hayward), who has never held elected legislative office, appears to be running a campaign focused on fear-mongering and untenable ideas that aren't rooted in federal policy.
Vote to re-elect Eric Swalwell for District 15.