Who knows what in the world they were thinking, but assuming the candidate doesn't withdraw, it seems like the local Chamber of Commerce has done Menlo Park a favor whether the Chamber realizes it or not.
Having a candidate so obviously from the Chamber leadership will give voters a real chance to vote on what the Chamber has been advocating. Normally the chamber and its members keep more distance from the council race than this and probably for good and time tested reasons. Candidates are more commonly fielded in the Jellins/Duboc/Winkler/Boyle cast who may be very friendly to them but still a few steps and points of connection removed. This will give MP a chance to focus more directly on things the Chamber and its members have been promoting: zoning changes and liberalized building regulations favorable to themselves, city assistance with parking with inadequate business contribution, discouraging and advocating against businesses and opportunities that would bring more livelihood to Menlo Park because they are perceived as competitive or threatening to local merchants, and a host of other things.
The dynamics of the situation should make it interesting for the rest of the council too. Given the math, at least one council member will be re elected and more likely two. You would think the incumbents will draw distinctions from the Chamber candidate, and perhaps become less enamored with some Chamber perpectives along the way too. And for other moderate council members like Cline and Robinson, if the challenger goes down to defeat, that would not leave a good sense the Chamber's position has sufficient following in MP in the end.
All in all, not a bad setting to help Menlo Park actually move forward post-election.