The East Bay Times has endorsed a Republican for State Assembly: namely, attorney Catharine Baker, 45, who is up for reelection for the first time in the Bay Area’s 16th Assembly District — a tough reelection district for any Republican.
“The centrist Republican from Dublin brings a mix of fiscal restraint and social consciousness to the job,” the newspaper, which is located in a predominantly Democratic district, wrote. “In her freshman term, she’s proven to be smart, articulate, discerning and refreshingly independent. As a political moderate, she has well represented the 16th District, where no political party dominates.”
The 16th district is approximately 39 percent Democratic and 32 percent Republican, according to registration records. Baker is the Bay Area’s only Republican lawmaker.
The East Bay Times points out that big labor and union leaders attempted, unsuccessfully, to overpower Baker by backing then-Dublin mayor Tim Sbranti. He wound up losing to her in the general election in 2014 by nearly 8 percentage points. This year, they have reportedly backed former Pleasanton Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio, 61, “who refused to show up to answer editorial board questions,” the Times notes.
Baker and Cook-Kallio will face off in the November general.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Baker had a wide early lead in the money race, with $750,000 in the bank as of April 23. Her donors reportedly include businesses such as Anheuser-Busch, 7-Eleven and Edison. Cook-Kallio reportedly has about $129,000 cash on hand, with much of that money coming from unions and Democratic officeholders. The California Nurses Association, which had endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president during the primary election cycle, has also contributed to her campaign.
The East Bay Times adds, “[l]ook for labor to once again throw mud at Baker,” suggesting “the district’s discerning voters should ignore it and recognize that she has earned a second term.”
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz