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Key California Senate Race Pits Labor Vs. Business

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

There’s a big labor-versus-business battle over a little-known special election Tuesday for a Bay Area California state Senate seat. The race features two staunch Democrats and a third Democrat challenging the party establishment.

Steve Glazer is an Orinda city councilman who ran Jerry Brown’s 2010 campaign for governor. Then, he helped elect business-friendly Democrats on behalf of the California Chamber of Commerce and called for a ban on public transit worker strikes. So unions spent big to defeat him in an Assembly race last year.

Now, Glazer’s running for an open Senate seat in the East Bay Area. He faces Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, who’s endorsed by the Democratic Party and most unions; and former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, who’s backed by the California Teachers Association.

“Republicans (are) turning out rather heavily, based on the returns of absentee voters,” says political analyst Allen Hoffenblum, who publishes the California Target Book. “The Republican vote is going to be very decisive in the primary as to whether Glazer will be one of the top two.”

Unless one candidate wins a majority vote, the top two will advance to a May runoff.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio