Candidates pursue state and national offices

Although the Los Altos City Council and the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees races are at the center of the Town Crier’s news coverage, following is an introduction to local candidates running for State Assembly, State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives in the Nov. 6 election.

During the 2010 redistricting process, many districts were consolidated or modified. For updated information, visit California Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s Board of Elections website at

Assembly District 24 (previously the 21st and 22nd districts)

• Richard Gordon (D), incumbent

Legislative experience: State Assembly (2010-present), San Mateo County Board of Supervisors (1997-2010), San Mateo County Board of Education (1992-1997).

Legislative highlights: Protected seniors from fraud by creating safeguards for conservator trusts (AB 1288), secured additional funding for Plastic Market Development Program that created approximately 4,000 jobs (AB 1149), required for-profit colleges to disclose unaccredited degrees (AB 611).


• Chengzhi “George” Yang (R)

Legislative experience: None.

Platform: According to his webpage, Yang’s priorities would include economic measures such as a pension cap, improving the quality of education, creating incentives for entrepreneurs and stopping taxpayer projects, including the High-Speed Rail Project.


State of the race: Based on the demographics of registered voters in the district and the strength of his record, Gordon appears a shoo-in for re-election.

Gordon has earned a reputation for getting things done in Sacramento. In the past two years, he has authored more than 19 bills, with nearly 75 percent passed into law.

Senate District 13 (previously the 11th and 13th districts)

• Jerry Hill (D), incumbent

Legislative experience: State Assembly (2008-present), San Mateo City Council (1991-1998), San Mateo County Board of Supervisors (1998-2008).

Legislative highlights: Improved gas pipeline safety by requiring remote-controlled shut off valves in urban areas (AB 56), made medicines more accessible for Parkinson’s disease patients (AB 1414), increased subsidy for low-income drivers to take vehicles with high levels of smog off roads (AB 787).


• Sally Lieber (D), incumbent

Legislative experience: State Assembly (2002-2008), Mountain View city councilmember, Mountain View mayor.

Legislative highlights: Increased minimum wage in California from $6.75 to $8 (AB 2683), safeguarded services for special education by securing $2.3 billion in federal funding (AB 1662), created San Francisco Bay Preservation Authority to protect Bay’s ecosystems (AB 2954).


State of the race: After State Senate districts 11 and 13 merged after redistricting in 2010, the two incumbents were forced to compete for the seat. Hill and Lieber won the June primary, with 51.1 percent and 22.5 percent of the vote, respectively. The state’s new primary system allows the top two vote-getters to advance to the November ballot.

Now, two seasoned politicians with much in common – both are Democrats, have records of achievement in the State Senate and share similar views on many issues, including the environment – are battling for the office.

With more than twice as much cash on hand as Lieber and a long list of endorsements, Hill appears to be ahead, according to many campaign metrics.

U.S. House of Representatives, 18th District (previously the 14th district)

• Anna Eshoo (D), incumbent

Legislative experience: U.S. House of Representatives (1993- present), San Mateo County Board of Supervisors (1982-1992).

Legislative highlights: Promoted legislation on renewable resources (HR 6), helped make electronic signatures a mainstream tool (HR 1320 IH), supported cancer services for low-income women (HR 3161).


• David Chapman (R)

Legislative experience: None.

Platform: According to Chapman’s website, he plans to focus on job creation. His proposals include repealing guest worker programs, encouraging the Federal Reserve to issue inflation and unemployment targets and to pay taxes and stopping currency manipulation and trade barriers that reduce U.S. jobs.


State of the race: Eshoo has received at least 60 percent of the vote in every election since 1994. A member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she has sponsored legislation on issues ranging from immigration to alternative energy, new technology and women’s health care.

Despite Eshoo’s incumbency and financial advantage, Chapman challenged her previously in 2010, receiving 27.9 percent of the vote – an outcome that strengthens but in no way guarantees his chances for election this year.

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