Josh Becker withdraws from Assembly race


Menlo Park resident and venture capitalist Josh Becker announced March 11 that he is ending his campaign for the District 24 seat in the state Assembly due to a family health crisis.

He had announced his candidacy in February and was one of nine candidates for the seat currently occupied by Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, who is termed out this year.

In an email, he said his father just underwent surgery for a "serious and aggressive brain cancer" in Philadelphia, and after a visit there, decided to drop out of the race to "provide my Dad and my family the support they need at this difficult time."

"As important as my candidacy for the State Assembly may be to me, nothing is more important to any of us than our families," he said.

Mr. Becker has a long history in the high-tech sector, having co-founded the venture-capital firm New Cycle Capital and the nonprofit collaborative Full Circle Fund. He earned his MBA and law degree from Stanford University, where he co-founded the Stanford Board of Fellows program, which focuses on training students to participate in civic causes.

District 24 covers North Fair Oaks, Atherton, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Woodside, Portola Valley, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, a portion of Cupertino and the San Mateo County coastside from El Granada to the Santa Cruz County border.

The other candidates for the seat are Mike Kasperzak, a Mountain View councilman; Marc Berman, development director at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and a Palo Alto city councilman; Vicki Veenker, an intellectual property attorney and president of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley; Peter Ohtaki, Menlo Park councilman, Barry Chang, mayor of Cupertino; Seelam Reddy, a retired engineer and Palo Alto resident; and two recently announced candidates: John Inks, a Mountain View councilman; and Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera, a Palo Alto community volunteer who said he also plans to run for the U.S. Senate and two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Editor's Note: A previous version of the story inaccurately omitted Seelam Reddy from the list of candidates.

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