Decision 2010: Candidate update
Candidate filings are just beginning to trickle in, as are official candidacy announcements. Thursday afternoon, my inbox lit up with an e-mail from Planning Board president Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, announcing a City Council run.
“With a budget crisis compounded by the national recession, Alameda’s challenges will only grow if we don’t leave behind the political infighting of the recent past,” Ezzy Aschraft was quoted as saying in a press release announcing her candidacy. “As a Councilmember, I will prioritize creating jobs and housing opportunities, strengthening our business districts, and pursuing sensible, sustainable development while promoting ethical, accountable city government.”
In addition to her time on the Planning Board – during which the board handled the renovation of Park Street and Alameda Towne Centre, okayed new corporate headquarters for VF Outdoor and worked to enact green building and Bay-friendly landscaping ordinances, among other things – Ezzy Ashcraft has served on both the city’s Economic Development Commission and the Health Care District Board (which she worked to create).
Ezzy Ashcraft also helped to lead the campaign to build a new main library in town and has volunteered in the schools and for Meals on Wheels. A graduate of Alameda High School, UC Davis and Santa Clara University School of Law, she and her husband, Howard Ashcraft, have 19-year-old twins.
If elected, she said she will tackle the city’s problems “with a cooperative spirit” and that she’ll ensure transparency at City Hall.
Ezzy Ashcraft joins a field that includes Health Care District Board and Economic Development Commission member Rob Bonta and sitting Councilwoman Lena Tam in the race for two seats open this fall. Adam Gillitt, a local businessman, has also declared candidacy, and Board of Education trustee Tracy Jensen has pulled papers for a run, according to school board trustee Mike McMahon’s website. None of the members of the group has filed their candidacy papers yet (and there’s more on the Registrar of Voters site here).
Mayoral candidates include Vice Mayor Doug deHaan and council members Marie Gilmore and Frank Matarrese, former council member Tony Daysog and Kenneth Kahn. And five people are running for the Board of Education, including Jensen and McMahon, former Alameda Unified administrator Margie Sherratt, Rand Wrobel and Nero James Pruitt.
Alameda Democratic Club co-president James Oddie and Stewart Chen, have each pulled papers to run for one of three seats on the Health Care District Board. Chen has filed his candidacy papers, making him the only candidate to do so as of late Thursday afternoon.
The deadline to file candidacy papers is August 6, and August 11 for races where there is no incumbent running. I’ll have more for you at the end of the week.
Endorsements: Councilwoman Marie Gilmore has won an early endorsement in her mayoral bid, from Alameda’s firefighters union. They cited her leadership abilities and commitment to solving problems as their reason for giving her the nod.
“Alameda needs a thoughtful leader who (will) bring our city back together to find positive solutions to the challenges we face,” firefighters union president said Domenick Weaver, who called Gilmore smart, focused and interested in results – and willing to make the city more efficient, but not at the expense of public safety.
Gilmore said she’s honored by the firefighters’ nod. “The momentum that their endorsement gives this campaign can’t be underestimated.”