Assembly race will split key Jerry Brown allies
The battle for the Bay Area Assembly seat being vacated by Joan Buchanan next year will be a typical Capitol struggle, with labor-backed candidates squaring off against more business-friendly moderates.
What will make next year’s race a bit unusual is the fact that one of those candidates, Orinda City Councilman Steve Glazer, just happens to be an advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Glazer defines himself as a “Jerry Brown Democrat,” seeking to find balance between environmental protections and stoking job growth. That’s not surprising, given Glazer’s role as a consultant for the state Chamber of Commerce and another business coalition seeking to rewrite the state’s environmental laws.
Among the other candidates in the race is Tim Sbranti, the mayor of Dublin, who has the backing of the powerful California Teachers Assn.
The CTA has been an important ally for Brown, giving millions to his 2010 campaign as well as his effort to pass Proposition 30 last year. Brown has not officially endorsed a candidate in the race, but Glazer says the governor is “supportive” of his candidacy. Sbranti will likely have the backing of the CTA and Democratic political consultant Gale Kaufman will run his campaign.
The race also underscores the sometimes uneasy relationship between Brown and some parts of the Democratic base. While they have backed the governor in the past, the CTA has been wary of Brown’s plans to alter the state’s education funding formulas, a centerpiece of his legislative agenda this year.
-- Anthony York in Sacramento
Photo: Steve Glazer, an Orinda City Councilman and advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown who is running for a state Assembly seat next year, takes Brown's Pembroke Welsh corgi, Sutter, for a walk in the Capitol in 2011. Credit: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times