Two Democrats vying to represent the west side of San Francisco and the northwest corner of San Mateo County will face off on this November’s ballot, with one claiming to be an alternative to “politics-as-usual” in Sacramento.
Legal services company co-founder Michael Breyer says if he’s chosen to represent District 19, formerly District 12, he’ll bring the change that won’t be priority for his opponent, San Francisco’s current elected Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting.
Ting, who was one of many city officials who ran for mayor last fall, boasts every major endorsement in The City. That list includes current Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, who is vacating her seat due to term limits, and heading for a new job on the state’s Board of Equalization.
Both candidates say they’ll fight for more jobs and better schools. They also line up similarly on issues, including the reduction of state prison spending and sending that money to education instead.
The two-Democrat general election contest was made possible by the state’s new “top-two primary,” also known as the “open primary,” which allows the two candidates with the most votes to move past the primary regardless of their party affiliation. With four candidates on the ballot, Ting received 56 percent of the vote, while Breyer took 22 percent. A Republican and another Democrat took a combined 22 percent.
In District 17 on the east side of The City, incumbent Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is facing Log Cabin Republican candidate Jason Clark.
Ammiano, the former San Francisco supervisor who has represented The City at the Assembly since 2008, marks accomplishments like passing 12 of his bills last session, but he says there’s still more battles to fight. Two of Ammiano’s key pieces of legislation — one to increase media access to state prison inmates and another to curtail deportation of undocumented immigrants — were recently vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Clark calls Ammiano’s ideas “radical” and says voters need a better alternative. With both District 13 candidates being openly gay, Clark says he breaks from traditional GOP stances by standing for same-sex marriage rights.
Clark, whose sole opponent in the June primary was Ammiano, received only 16 percent of votes.
Job: Assemblyman since 2008
Neighborhood: Bernal Heights
Statement: This session alone, we were able to get 12 laws passed. I am seeking re-election, because our job is not finished. In the next two years, we will continue to work on immigration and prison issues. Our actions will continue to put families first, create jobs, and provide a strong safety net for Californians struggling through tough economic times.
Job: Attorney for Google
Neighborhood: Cole Valley
Statement: I think that it’s very important that San Franciscans are able to exercise a choice at the ballot box. I don’t think Tom Ammiano represents the people, especially with some of his radical viewpoints.
Job: President and co-founder of legal services firm Courtroom Connect
Neighborhood: Lower Pacific Heights
Statement: I am running for the 19th Assembly District because Sacramento is broken. There is a crying need for new ethical standards and increased transparency to restore trust in state government. I will work tirelessly to make that happen.
Job: San Francisco’s elected Assessor-Recorder
Neighborhood: Sunset District
Statement: I’m proud to have the endorsements of virtually every community group, newspaper, and community leader to take a stand in this race. As a member of the State Assembly, I will continue my fight for more high-paying jobs, better schools, affordable higher education and a better California for my family and yours.