By Matthew Vollrath
Special to The Almanac
Josh Becker, a Menlo Park resident running for California state Senate in District 13 next year, has landed an endorsement from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
A Becker campaign press release quotes Newsom's comments about the candidate: "Josh is a long-time, dedicated community leader. Josh Becker has earned my confidence and endorsement."
Becker, a former venture capitalist and entrepreneur, has collaborated with Newsom for nearly 20 years, he said. Back when Newsom was a supervisor in San Francisco, the pair worked together on the Full Circle Fund, an organization Becker founded to provide grants to nonprofits working to improve the Bay Area. Becker said both he and the governor "favor bold action" around issues of transportation, homelessness, and the environment.
"Obviously [this endorsement creates tremendous momentum for us," Becker said, "but only in combination with local endorsements and support on the ground."
In addition to Newsom's, Becker has received over 40 other endorsements from local elected officials. These include two U.S. congressmen, numerous city council members, and nine local mayors, including Ray Mueller of Menlo Park and Daniel Yost of Woodside.
Key issues for Becker are climate and transportation, including government investment in solar power and electric vehicles, and public education. He noted that only half of San Mateo County third-graders currently read at grade level, and that admission to the University of California system is becoming increasingly difficult for in-state students, problems that he hopes to address if elected.
District 13 runs from South San Francisco to Sunnyvale, and includes the majority of San Mateo County and part of Santa Clara County.
The District 13 incumbent, Jerry Hill, will be leaving the Senate next year due to term limits.
Shelly Masur, a member of the Redwood City City Council, is also running for the District 13 seat, as is Michael Brownrigg of Burlingame, Annie Oliva of Milbrae, and former assemblywoman Sally Lieber of Mountain View.