News

Glew, Becker take early lead in crowded state Senate primary

State Senate District 13 represents a large section of the Peninsula, including Palo Alto

With potentially tens of thousands of ballots still left to count in state Senate District 13 race, early election results indicate that Democrat Josh Becker and Republican Alex Glew are leading in the seven-candidate contest.

As of the most recent results available the evening of Thursday, March 5, Josh Becker and Alex Glew held 21.3% and 20.6% of the votes counted respectively, or about 162,000, according to election results reported by the secretary of state.

Democratic candidates Sally Lieber and Shelly Masur currently have 16.2% and 15.2%, while Annie Oliva and Mike Brownrigg are at 12.6% and 11.8% respectively. John Webster, the sole Libertarian candidate, has about 2.3% of the vote.

This story will be updated as the two counties report additional election results.

In California, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, move forward to the November election.

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The large number of viable Democratic contenders for the seat appears to have split the primary vote in a district that leans strongly blue. As of the most recent count in mid-February among registered voters in the district, 51.5% are Democrats, 14.9% Republican and 28.5% have no party preference.

Glew, a Los Altos resident, expressed surprise at being an early front-runner. In a March 3 phone call, he told the Voice that he was especially surprised at the outcome given how little his campaign spent, particularly compared with the Democratic candidates.

Among Democratic candidates, Becker raised the most at $1,063,936, followed by Brownrigg, who raised $947,931.

Masur raised $575,532; Oliva raised $438,613; and Lieber raised $255,920.

Glew's campaign, in contrast, raised $4,149.

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"It's gratifying," he said. "The political machinery has a lot of influence on the elections."

He said he suspected his campaign resonated with voters because he represented a more moderate choice. "I think to the extent that candidates are moving farther to the left, that may be problematic to the people of California and their campaigns," he said.

Becker, a Menlo Park resident, said a lot more results still had to come in, and he was going to be keeping a close eye on them.

"I'm glad I'm doing well in San Mateo and Santa Clara County," he said, regarding his early lead as the Democratic front-runner. "It's better than a sharp stick in the eye."

Throughout his campaign, he said, he worked to distinguish himself from the other candidates on climate issues, housing, transportation, child care and education.

Next in the early rankings are Sally Lieber, from Mountain View, and Shelly Masur, from Redwood City. As of the afternoon of March 4, Lieber held a small lead over Becker as the top vote-getter in Santa Clara County, but ranked sixth in San Mateo County.

"It's been a great race," Lieber said in an interview. "I'm excited to see what the final totals are."

Among Democratic candidates, Lieber has been singled out as a target of attack ads by independent expenditure committees in the last few weeks. Four committees contributed a total of $431,724 opposing her campaign. The top two committees that campaigned against her election are "Keeping Californians Working," a group with funders such as Chevron and the California Apartment Association, which spent $132,663; and "Californians Allied for Patient Protection," which spent $116,563 against Lieber. In a written statement widely distributed by Lieber's campaign, she said that Californians Allied for Patient Protection launched the negative ads after she refused to sign a pledge to keep medical malpractice limits where they were in 1975.

She said she'd observed that the early March primary this year catching voters off-guard, combined with the voter population's strong education credentials, likely led many people to hold onto their ballots in the days leading up to Super Tuesday.

"This is a wonky district where people do game out the math of when and who they should give their vote to," she said.

Mike Brownrigg, from Burlingame, said he too observed many voters still making up their minds in the weekend leading up to Super Tuesday.

"The early numbers don't rattle my faith in the strength of the campaign we ran," he said. "Early results came in before endorsements were even made. I think things have changed a lot over the last few weeks."

He said he felt that in his campaigning there wasn't anything specific about his message – focused on affordability, climate and education – that didn't resonate with voters. The larger challenge was making "100,000 new friends," he said.

Oliva, a Democrat from Millbrae, declined to comment, and Masur could not be reached for comment. In a voicemail, Webster said that he opposed California's top two system and believes there will be two Democrats facing off in the November elections. "Guess what?" he said. "I could care less which one of those top two gets elected because they're screwing with the whole concept of freedom that our country is supposed to be about."

It's still early

While these results represent the votes of nearly a quarter of San Mateo County's registered voters and nearly 20% of Santa Clara County's, there are still many ballots yet to be counted.

The votes that have been reported in San Mateo County represent ballots received in the mail and returned at vote centers and drop boxes by the Saturday before Super Tuesday, and an initial round of ballots submitted at vote centers. Results will be updated each half-hour.

In Santa Clara County, vote tallies posted just after 8 p.m. March 3 represent those received early by mail. Updates that are released afterward represent reports from the county's vote centers.

Vote-by-mail ballots that arrive on the day of the election or are postmarked on Election Day, provisional ballots, damaged or unreadable ballots, or write-in votes are all processed and counted after Election Day.

It's also still not yet known how many registered voters have submitted a ballot. In a comparable election to this year's – the June 2016 primaries – 51.8% of registered voters in San Mateo County and 54.7% of registered voters in Santa Clara County ended up casting ballots.

All-mail elections tend to increase voter turnout. In the 2018 general election, voter turnout in San Mateo County rose to 72.6% of registered voters. However, it took nearly a month to call some races due to mail-in ballots submitted on Election Day or received by mail afterward, particularly for close elections at the city level.

The San Mateo County Elections Office has since acquired new technology that allows ballots to be processed and counted much more efficiently, which was put to the test in 2019, according to Jim Irizarry, chief elections officer for San Mateo County. The county has two new scanners that can each scan 18,000 ballots an hour, he said in an email.

Since switching to all-mail elections, he said, many mailed ballots have arrived on Election Day or afterwards, in some cases more than 40%.

"While we prioritize accuracy over speed, I do believe we will be providing voters with results much faster than in 2018 or 2019," he said.

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Kate Bradshaw writes for the Mountain View Voice, the sister publication of Palo Alto Online.

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Glew, Becker take early lead in crowded state Senate primary

State Senate District 13 represents a large section of the Peninsula, including Palo Alto

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Tue, Mar 3, 2020, 11:18 pm
Updated: Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 9:05 pm

With potentially tens of thousands of ballots still left to count in state Senate District 13 race, early election results indicate that Democrat Josh Becker and Republican Alex Glew are leading in the seven-candidate contest.

As of the most recent results available the evening of Thursday, March 5, Josh Becker and Alex Glew held 21.3% and 20.6% of the votes counted respectively, or about 162,000, according to election results reported by the secretary of state.

Democratic candidates Sally Lieber and Shelly Masur currently have 16.2% and 15.2%, while Annie Oliva and Mike Brownrigg are at 12.6% and 11.8% respectively. John Webster, the sole Libertarian candidate, has about 2.3% of the vote.

This story will be updated as the two counties report additional election results.

In California, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, move forward to the November election.

The large number of viable Democratic contenders for the seat appears to have split the primary vote in a district that leans strongly blue. As of the most recent count in mid-February among registered voters in the district, 51.5% are Democrats, 14.9% Republican and 28.5% have no party preference.

Glew, a Los Altos resident, expressed surprise at being an early front-runner. In a March 3 phone call, he told the Voice that he was especially surprised at the outcome given how little his campaign spent, particularly compared with the Democratic candidates.

Among Democratic candidates, Becker raised the most at $1,063,936, followed by Brownrigg, who raised $947,931.

Masur raised $575,532; Oliva raised $438,613; and Lieber raised $255,920.

Glew's campaign, in contrast, raised $4,149.

"It's gratifying," he said. "The political machinery has a lot of influence on the elections."

He said he suspected his campaign resonated with voters because he represented a more moderate choice. "I think to the extent that candidates are moving farther to the left, that may be problematic to the people of California and their campaigns," he said.

Becker, a Menlo Park resident, said a lot more results still had to come in, and he was going to be keeping a close eye on them.

"I'm glad I'm doing well in San Mateo and Santa Clara County," he said, regarding his early lead as the Democratic front-runner. "It's better than a sharp stick in the eye."

Throughout his campaign, he said, he worked to distinguish himself from the other candidates on climate issues, housing, transportation, child care and education.

Next in the early rankings are Sally Lieber, from Mountain View, and Shelly Masur, from Redwood City. As of the afternoon of March 4, Lieber held a small lead over Becker as the top vote-getter in Santa Clara County, but ranked sixth in San Mateo County.

"It's been a great race," Lieber said in an interview. "I'm excited to see what the final totals are."

Among Democratic candidates, Lieber has been singled out as a target of attack ads by independent expenditure committees in the last few weeks. Four committees contributed a total of $431,724 opposing her campaign. The top two committees that campaigned against her election are "Keeping Californians Working," a group with funders such as Chevron and the California Apartment Association, which spent $132,663; and "Californians Allied for Patient Protection," which spent $116,563 against Lieber. In a written statement widely distributed by Lieber's campaign, she said that Californians Allied for Patient Protection launched the negative ads after she refused to sign a pledge to keep medical malpractice limits where they were in 1975.

She said she'd observed that the early March primary this year catching voters off-guard, combined with the voter population's strong education credentials, likely led many people to hold onto their ballots in the days leading up to Super Tuesday.

"This is a wonky district where people do game out the math of when and who they should give their vote to," she said.

Mike Brownrigg, from Burlingame, said he too observed many voters still making up their minds in the weekend leading up to Super Tuesday.

"The early numbers don't rattle my faith in the strength of the campaign we ran," he said. "Early results came in before endorsements were even made. I think things have changed a lot over the last few weeks."

He said he felt that in his campaigning there wasn't anything specific about his message – focused on affordability, climate and education – that didn't resonate with voters. The larger challenge was making "100,000 new friends," he said.

Oliva, a Democrat from Millbrae, declined to comment, and Masur could not be reached for comment. In a voicemail, Webster said that he opposed California's top two system and believes there will be two Democrats facing off in the November elections. "Guess what?" he said. "I could care less which one of those top two gets elected because they're screwing with the whole concept of freedom that our country is supposed to be about."

It's still early

While these results represent the votes of nearly a quarter of San Mateo County's registered voters and nearly 20% of Santa Clara County's, there are still many ballots yet to be counted.

The votes that have been reported in San Mateo County represent ballots received in the mail and returned at vote centers and drop boxes by the Saturday before Super Tuesday, and an initial round of ballots submitted at vote centers. Results will be updated each half-hour.

In Santa Clara County, vote tallies posted just after 8 p.m. March 3 represent those received early by mail. Updates that are released afterward represent reports from the county's vote centers.

Vote-by-mail ballots that arrive on the day of the election or are postmarked on Election Day, provisional ballots, damaged or unreadable ballots, or write-in votes are all processed and counted after Election Day.

It's also still not yet known how many registered voters have submitted a ballot. In a comparable election to this year's – the June 2016 primaries – 51.8% of registered voters in San Mateo County and 54.7% of registered voters in Santa Clara County ended up casting ballots.

All-mail elections tend to increase voter turnout. In the 2018 general election, voter turnout in San Mateo County rose to 72.6% of registered voters. However, it took nearly a month to call some races due to mail-in ballots submitted on Election Day or received by mail afterward, particularly for close elections at the city level.

The San Mateo County Elections Office has since acquired new technology that allows ballots to be processed and counted much more efficiently, which was put to the test in 2019, according to Jim Irizarry, chief elections officer for San Mateo County. The county has two new scanners that can each scan 18,000 ballots an hour, he said in an email.

Since switching to all-mail elections, he said, many mailed ballots have arrived on Election Day or afterwards, in some cases more than 40%.

"While we prioritize accuracy over speed, I do believe we will be providing voters with results much faster than in 2018 or 2019," he said.

Kate Bradshaw writes for the Mountain View Voice, the sister publication of Palo Alto Online.

Comments

Gary
Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2020 at 5:59 am
Gary, Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2020 at 5:59 am

The article was way too early. Sally Lieber now (6am) leads Becker 25-24% with Glew coming unglued at 19%. In a runoff, Glew, the lone Republican, would have virtually no chance of winning. Republicans are 15% of the district. Still, maybe half of the votes have been counted. So, for example, there is still a chance that Foothill-De Anza's $898 million bond measure now at 57% will drop below the 55% required. The district's parcel tax at 60% will not likely get the two-thirds required for that type of tax.


Interesting
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2020 at 6:03 am
Interesting, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2020 at 6:03 am

The backlash against the Democratic Party in California for becoming mindless shills for overdevelopment and trickle-down housing has begun, and will get a lot worse a lot faster if this is a drought year (speaking as a Democrat who voted for a Republican in another race, first one in a long time, and wish I had thought to take a closer look at Glew, over SB50).

We do have to do something about housing affordability and living wages for those at the bottom, but enabling the very source of the problem is not it (I would note that Michael Bloomberg recently said on 60 Minutes that in response to the potential threat of a pandemic, they have divided their operations to ensure their work isn't interrupted. Silicon Valley tech could take a hint from that, including that we have earthquakes, fires, and other threats, AND that it would be better for everyone if they spun off and moved the jobs rather than trying to continue their Once-lerian rolling over Silicon Valley.)

I doubt Glew's lead will hold, earliest ballots tend to be Republican-skewed. However, I am pretty sure his quotes in the paper over SB 50 had a lot to do with his success. It was a litmus test for all the Democratic voters in our household, all who don't want overdevelopment to become to Democrats in California what corrupted-religiosity has become to Republicans nationally.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 4, 2020 at 8:26 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 4, 2020 at 8:26 am

The fact that this district is registered as Democrat is in part a DMV misguided effort to register people. The fact that voter registration is funneled through the DMV has produced people with multiple ballots which now has to be corrected. People are reporting that in the papers that they went to get a REAL ID and ended up with an additional ballot.

Be on note that people are fed up with this type of mismanagement of state agencies and state funds being voted on for one task and then switched to other tasks in the general fund.

People get voted in on party lines that have no clue as to running a business - or running a clean election process and state functions. Running a state is big business and requires educated people who have a proven ability to manage large projects. Feel good qualifications are not going to work here. And people riding on other people's coattails because of funding issues are clearly transparent.

Most voters are getting smart now on tracking starting and ending points of projects and who fails at producing results. Do not believe that voting "party lines" is going to be the norm for this area. We need smart people who can see the whole picture and make smart decisions.

Look at the qualifications on the candidates, what they are proposing, and how they will deal with the running of a state.


Eliminate The Progressives
another community
on Mar 4, 2020 at 8:35 am
Eliminate The Progressives, another community
on Mar 4, 2020 at 8:35 am

QUOTE: In a runoff, Glew, the lone Republican, would have virtually no chance of winning. Republicans are 15% of the district.

It would be nice if POTUS/45 endorsed Glew as many former residents of this district reside in other parts of the state (i.e. Sierra Foothills & Central Valley) but retain their absentee ballots from the SF Bay Area since many of us are now landlords.

BTW...many Republican voters are praying, wishing & hoping that Bernie Sanders is the Democratic Presidential nominee for 2020.

And you thought Goldwater's 1964 defeat was bad? *L*


@Eliminate
Charleston Gardens
on Mar 4, 2020 at 10:40 am
@Eliminate, Charleston Gardens
on Mar 4, 2020 at 10:40 am

I wouldn't encourage anyone considering it to take your advice. If you are a landlord, unless you actually live in the house, you cannot legally vote from that address. What you're advocating is called voter fraud.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 4, 2020 at 12:11 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 4, 2020 at 12:11 pm

Voter Fraud is the norm for California. I have heard pf poll workers who allow any one to vote without any credentials as to identity. A bunch of people so rabid for a outcome to their liking that try and make that happen by slight of hand.


Interesting
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2020 at 3:32 pm
Interesting, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2020 at 3:32 pm

@Reasident,
It's hard enough to get people to turn out legitimately, a secret conspiracy to turn out a lot of people to vote under someone else's name is simply not credible.

More likely is absentee ballot mills, like the one a Republican in North Carolina was caught doing. Given that Republicans have been on the constant assault to overturn elections in the West, especially, it's far more likely that these are Republican shenanigans.

Especially since these days, if a Republican accuses someone else of something, more often than not, it's because they themselves are guilty of it and it's a way to deflect. Have a conversation with a Republican sometime, if you make a really good point about Republicans or their candidates, they'll accuse you of it two steps later, without any basis at all. The Republican Party has become completely untethered from any sense of honor or truth or concern for democracy or even reality. The fact that the Democratic voters in our household voted for one in the last election doesn't change that, it just means the Democratic candidate was that bad.

Competition, real competition, refines and hones, whether it's marketplaces, ideas, or politics. Republicans have utterly lost that ideal in favor of lying, cheating and selling their souls for power.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 4, 2020 at 4:03 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 4, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Interesting comments from Interesting. In case you have not noticed your two emerging candidates are a communist and a person nearing age related "forgetfulness". And that does not bother you at all? Bernie is making all of these points against Biden about what he supported and he opposed. Guess what - the big ticket items have been dealt with by DT.

Paris Accord? - we were an ATM card for the EU and British Commonwealth countries who need to finance their own projects. No - we cannot influence them. They cannot influence each other.

Bad agreements which funnel money to other countries? NAFTA? Dealt with. Bernie is making DT's points.

Shake up the country? - Yes DT is doing that and it infuriates the D's because their money making projects which are self serving are out the door.
Every time a D makes an accusation it is in reality a deflection from their story book. HRC was / is the queen of that tactic.

And I did not say people were voting in other people's names - did you just make that up? The D party is not the party of your parents. It has morphed into something else.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2020 at 4:53 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2020 at 4:53 pm

>> As of 9 a.m. on March 4, Alex Glew and Josh Becker have

What are the updated numbers?


Yoriko
University South
on Mar 4, 2020 at 5:13 pm
Yoriko, University South
on Mar 4, 2020 at 5:13 pm

Here's a link to the state website, which consolidates the two counties: Web Link It's still Glew and Becker as top two. Josh will be a great representative for us!


Midtown Local
Midtown
on Mar 4, 2020 at 5:37 pm
Midtown Local, Midtown
on Mar 4, 2020 at 5:37 pm

Curious what Brownrigg did with all that money of his (mom's). He sounded pretty decent at the debate, but I received zero literature from him. Did he only advertise in San Mateo County?


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2020 at 10:53 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2020 at 10:53 am

Here is a link to the KQED elections section, which has some useful numbers:

Web Link


Online Name
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 5, 2020 at 11:58 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 5, 2020 at 11:58 am

@anon, thanks for the link. That shows Glew with a slight lead over Becker which in a traditionally Democratic district should send a message to the high-density crowd.


From Silicon Valley
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2020 at 3:30 pm
From Silicon Valley, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2020 at 3:30 pm

We know Alex Glew professionally. He would be an asset to us as our State Senator.


Resident
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 5, 2020 at 8:45 pm
Resident, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 5, 2020 at 8:45 pm

We viewed the panel discussion of all the candidates that the Palo Alto Weekly Online newspaper held before the election. It was extremely helpful and is still online.

Alex Glew's responses stood out, among all the others. We knew nothing of him until we heard the candidates on the panel's question and answer format.

We voted for Glew and plan to support him, in November. We're glad he did well. We need more people with common sense as our representatives. Glew has common sense.


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