Assembly hopefuls to square off in candidates' forum

League of Women Voters hosts Tuesday night event in Mountain View; early voting begins for June 7 primary

Eight candidates looking to replace outgoing state Assemblyman Rich Gordon will discuss their political positions on Tuesday evening, May 10, at the Mountain View Public Library.

The event — billed as a forum, not a debate — will offer the public an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates and learn more about how they would serve in office if elected. The candidates' forum comes at a crucial time — starting this week, mail ballots are being sent out for early voting for the June 7 primary election.

The primary will select the top two candidates, regardless of political party, who will face off in the November election.

The forum will be held 7-8:30 p.m. at the Mountain View Public Library, 585 Franklin St.

The eight candidates for the 24th district Assembly race are Palo Alto resident Seelam Reddy, Palo Alto Councilman Marc Berman, Cupertino Mayor Barry Chang, Mountain View Councilman Mike Kasperzak, Menlo Park Councilman Peter Ohtaki, attorney Vicki Veenker, Palo Alto community volunteer Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera and Mountain View Councilman John Inks. A ninth candidate, venture capitalist Josh Becker, dropped out of the race in March.

A second candidates' forum is planned for the final days before the primary. A Peninsula nonprofit, Innovate Public Schools, is planning a forum focused on education and housing at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, at the St. Francis de Assisi Catholic Church, 1425 Bay Road in East Palo Alto.

• To watch candidate interviews conducted by Bill Johnson, the publisher of the Weekly and its sister papers, the Mountain View Voice and Almanac News, click below:

Marc Berman

Jay Cabrera

Barry Chang

Mike Kasperzak

John Inks

Peter Ohtaki

Vicki Veenker

Note: Seelam Reddy did not attend his scheduled interview.

• To read candidate profiles on Barry Chang, John Inks, Jay Cabrera and Marc Berman, click here.

• To read candidate profiles on Mike Kasperzak, Peter Ohtaki, Seelam Reddy and Vicki Veenker, click here.

• For an interactive online presentation showing the candidates' stances on top state issues, click here.

Related content:

Strong fundraising boosts Marc Berman, Vicki Veenker in state Assembly race

Candidates rake in cash for Assembly race


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1 person likes this
Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on May 10, 2016 at 4:38 am

Good coverage and write up by the Embarcadero Media news papers.

Do we need almost $1 million of people's contributions to pick two candidates?

It seems like that money that belongs to people could be very useful for helping homeless, mental health, shelters, etc.

Can we consider taking $money out of politics? We could start here in the 24th district.


16 people like this
Posted by Realtor guy??
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 10, 2016 at 8:57 pm

Fascinating how I receive a slick Marc Berman ad in the mail today paid for by the California Association of Realtors just a week after Berman votes down a temporary single story overlay in Royal Manor that certainly could relate to issues of real estate sales and valuation. Not a conflict of interest?

4 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of Mountain View
on May 11, 2016 at 10:44 pm

SRB is a registered user.

According to the late expenditures filings reported to the State, the California Real Estate Independent Expenditure Committee just spent about $59,000 in support of Berman.

Also received another mailer for Berman this time from the California Dental Association. At a cost of $32,501.00 according to the State late expenditure filings.

5 people like this
Posted by Lousy Choices
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 12, 2016 at 9:42 am

With exceptions for Veenker and Inks, I would have to say there are a lot of poor choices of candidates in the Assembly race.
Berman and Chang are particularly troubling, though for different reasons. Bergman has a BIG conflict of interest--big enough that he should have been dismissed from the city council long ago. Chang is very pugnacious and possibly corrupt, and actually tried to run for two districts at once!

A LOT of research and thought need to be done before choosing from this sad group of candidates!

1 person likes this
Posted by SRB
a resident of Mountain View
on May 12, 2016 at 5:45 pm

SRB is a registered user.

Link to late Independent Expenditures affecting (supporting) Berman:

Web Link

Like this comment
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 2, 2016 at 1:18 pm

SEA_SEELAM REDDY is a registered user.

Yes. It was true. I missed my Monday 10:00am planned interview setup by Embarcadero Media.

I realized on that Thursday and PA Weekly told me I missed my interview session. I offered to come to their offices on Cambridge avenue; they responded back and said they were busy getting their latest magazine out.

Sorry. I missed the appointment. Feels like a doctors appointment I forgot but need it.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive

on Jul 28, 2017 at 4:37 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Palo Verde School

on Jul 29, 2017 at 9:46 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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