Eight candidates run for supervisor seat | March 14, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



News - March 14, 2012

Eight candidates run for supervisor seat

by Dave Boyce

Three seats on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors are up for election in June. Ten candidates have officially thrown in their hats, and the eight challengers among them have opted to challenge each other, leaving the two incumbents to run unopposed.

District 4 Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson, whose district includes East Palo Alto and much of Menlo Park, is retiring after having reached her three-term limit. The eight candidates competing to succeed her come from city councils, school boards and county government.

Incumbent District 5 Supervisor and board President Adrienne Tissier of Daly City is running unopposed for her third term.

Incumbent District 1 Supervisor Dave Pine of Burlingame is running unopposed for election to his first full term. Mr. Pine won a special election in May 2011 to complete the 19 months remaining in the third term of Mark Church, who vacated his seat to run for and win the position of chief elections officer and assessor-county clerk-recorder.

The challengers for Ms. Jacobs Gibson's seat, in alphabetical order, are:

• Andy Cohen of the Menlo Park City Council.

• Kirsten Keith, the mayor of Menlo Park and a councilwoman.

• Shelly Masur of the Redwood City School Board.

• Guillermo "Memo" Morantes, a Menlo Park resident and a member of the San Mateo County Board of Education.

• Carlos Romero of the East Palo Alto City Council.

• Ernesto "Ernie" Schmidt of the Redwood City Planning Commission.

• Warren Slocum, former San Mateo County chief elections officer and assessor-county clerk-recorder.

• David E. Woods of the East Palo Alto City Council.

If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the June 5 election, the two contenders with the most votes will oppose each other in a November run-off election, county Elections Manager David Tom told the Almanac.

While the June election is a presidential primary, elections for county supervisor are non-partisan.

Though supervisors must live in the district they represent, they run county-wide. San Mateo is the only county in the state that does not have district elections.

Defenders of San Mateo County's system claim county-wide elections inculcate a broad perspective in the supervisors, but critics say it favors well-financed and well-connected candidates.

Voters in 2010 might have had a chance to consider by-district elections, but a 4-1 majority of supervisors, with then-supervisor Rich Gordon dissenting, voted not to put the question on the ballot.

County voters had rejected district elections in 1978 and 1980. A citizens committee reviewing the county charter had recommended giving voters another shot at this question in 2010.

County supervisors receive an annual salary of $117,145.60.


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