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Eshoo faces rivals from left, right and center in bid to retain Congress seat

Original post made on May 4, 2022

Seven candidates vying to replace Rep. Anna Eshoo in a newly redrawn Silicon Valley congressional district know they face an uphill climb against the political veteran. On Tuesday, the challengers made their cases.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 9:28 AM

Comments (30)

Posted by Claude Ezran
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 4, 2022 at 10:51 am

Claude Ezran is a registered user.

I am enthusiastically voting for Anna Eshoo! She has a strong track record of getting important things done in Congress, she is highly competent, politically aligned with the majority of her constituents on key issues, and she has represented our district very well. We are really lucky to have her as our representative. The other candidates seem to be either far right extremists, DINOs (Democrat In Name Only), or lightweights.

Posted by SRB
a resident of Mountain View
on May 4, 2022 at 10:58 am

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If Tanaka really wanted to transcend parties, why is he identifying as a Democrat?

Posted by Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on May 4, 2022 at 10:58 am

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Ajwang Rading is a socialist, based on his views and policy proposals: healthcare and housing as human rights.

Eshoo herself has turned very left - promoting universal healthcare and voting to have taxpayers fund abortions, Federalize elections, and for the PRO Act, to force employees to join unions rather than have a right to work at a unionized workplace without joining a union.

Posted by Old teacher
a resident of Community Center
on May 4, 2022 at 11:25 am

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I am an ardent fan of Anna Eshoo! In the recent years since my husband's death, she has "saved" me by getting my husband's pension for me and by restoring me to Medicare! Both times, I had only to present my case to her office. We need her stature as a senior member of congress. In this critical time, she needs no "learning" or adjustment. I don't trust many of her challengers who are possibly just more conservative votes like Kysten Sinema or Joe Manchin. Her age should not be an impediment: she is open to new ideas but has the experience and judgment to know what works!

Posted by Evergreen Park Observer
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 4, 2022 at 11:59 am

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Greg Tanaka is well known as being one of the least prepared council members at City Council meetings. He is also well known for getting much of his financial support from developers and real estate interests. Of course he is opposed to a business tax in Palo Alto. He is also opposed to businesses paying their own way in other respects. I don't care which party he says he is aligned with. Look at his votes and policies.

Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 4, 2022 at 12:16 pm

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Anna Eshoo has never authored any significant legislation during her tenure in Congress. Time to move on with some new blood and in particular a moderate conservative would be ideal and give California a a voice other than that of progressive liberals.

Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2022 at 12:54 pm

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I'm firmly in your corner Anna. You've always done a fantastic job representing my district.

I detest Kumar's attack ads. It takes more than photos taken while wearing American flag clothing to sway sophisticated Peninsula voters.

Tanaka has demonstrated that he has no capacity for compromise or common sense. As mentioned above he is firmly in the pocket of developers.

Posted by Midtown resident
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2022 at 12:55 pm

Midtown resident is a registered user.

Very sorry I missed this. Kudos to the League of Women Voters -- next time, distribute flyers! I agree that new blood would be nice (I'm one of these people lobbying for an age limit in Washington). On the other hand, "lightweight" is the word for the liberal alternatives to Eshoo. "Lightweight" and down-and-out childhood or techie success is still "lightweight" for current purposes, as far as I'm concerned. It's too bad, since we really need a push for carbon capture technologies and nuclear power rather than, e.g., those same old ideas that as a species we can learn to be better behaved vis-a-vis nature, consume less, and coexist peacefully, without massive disincentives to do otherwise that only a nondemocratic government could push through.

Posted by Anonymous complaint?
a resident of Stanford
on May 4, 2022 at 5:38 pm

Anonymous complaint? is a registered user.

I missed this last night too.

I've voted for Eshoo every time. However, at her last town hall I attended, she got a bit lost... so sad she's 80 years old this year.

I hope one of the other candidates can fill her shoes.

Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2022 at 5:47 pm

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His positive contributions to Palo Alto City Council discussions and decisions are as rare as Pileated Woodpeckers.
In US Congress? No no no no no.

Posted by Petra Karenter
a resident of Professorville
on May 4, 2022 at 6:13 pm

Petra Karenter is a registered user.

Do you like your inflation? Well, you can thank your Congresswoman Anna Eshoo who has been spending money like a drunken sailor for the past two years.

Monetary fact of life: overpump the system with money and you get inflation.

Over the past 30 years, sometimes I’ve voted for her, and sometimes against. But not this year. She’ll be 80 soon. Although she’s not as cognitively challenged as Mr. Biden, it’s time for some fresh blood.

Posted by peppered
a resident of Community Center
on May 4, 2022 at 7:11 pm

peppered is a registered user.

What Tanaka did on the City Council is just disgusting -- too much developer $.
Kumar is overly ambitious.
Rading is far too left wing.
The others... hmmm.

Sticking with Eshoo.

Posted by Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2022 at 9:06 pm

Citizen is a registered user.

Ajwang Rading speaks to everyone as their equal. The times I have spoken with him, he has been extremely down-to-earth, willing to listen and hear my ideas about what changes this district needs. His background also makes him uniquely qualified. He has my support.

Posted by KJTG
a resident of Barron Park
on May 4, 2022 at 9:24 pm

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Please take a closer look at Ajwang Rading, his is a centrist, moderate campaign.

Posted by Palo Alto Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 4, 2022 at 9:53 pm

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I am thoroughly impressed and excited about Ajwang Rading. He is a breath of fresh air with wisdom and experience way beyond his lived years. He has a sense of urgency when it comes to climate action that should be a must for all of us in any candidate we support. And he inspires and motivates our youth and has quite a following of first time voters who are enthusiastically campaigning for him. Ajwang gives me hope on so many levels and I can’t wait to vote for him. Anna has been fine but 30 years is enough; this is not a kingdom. This is Silicon Valley and it’s beyond time for fresh leadership & new bold ideas.

Posted by rose with a thorn
a resident of Mountain View
on May 4, 2022 at 10:30 pm

rose with a thorn is a registered user.

It's incredible to me people are ok with the same person representing a district for THIRTY years. Look how much the world has changed—the crises and challenges now facing us require different thinking, more courage, more urgency, and certainly a lot less 'comfort with one's own power and status quo' than what Ms. Eshoo has given us to date.

As for the other candidates, it is true that most of them do not enjoy the same level of influence that the incumbent has built over the years. I don't pretend to have the secret sauce for running (I admire those who do go for it!), but I welcome fresh voices. I would respectfully disagree with those who call Rading, for example, as "too far left" and a "socialist" (once again the term is completely misused). What's so uncool about someone who cares about climate change, the less privileged, housing and equitable healthcare? Of all the candidates in this event, I found him to be the most empathic and genuinely caring.

Let's see what happens in the primary. I'm still deciding who to vote for but it will not be the "safe incumbent choice." We the voters need to look past our fears and demand more from our representatives.

Posted by Ward Vercruysse
a resident of Portola Valley
on May 4, 2022 at 11:23 pm

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Funny how people with strong negative opinions post anonymous.
I voted consistently for Anna and I appreciate the work she did, however I think it is time for a change. It is a sad state of affairs that the democratic leadership in general is aging and did not prepare their succession.
I like Ajwang. Yes he doesn't have many years of experience yet, but I believe that is better than having too many. There is nothing lightweight about Ajwang and I am at a loss on why some label him as 'far left'.
He experienced first hand both extreme life styles in silicon valley, he cares about people, he is well-informed on the many big issues we have today, he has fresh ideas and he truly inspires.
We need more Ajwangs.

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Mayfield
on May 5, 2022 at 12:42 am

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A couple of points I want to throw out there -- I'm a Stanford student and have to say that from what I can tell, Ajwang Rading is very much a centrist and holds plenty of cross-partisan values worth noting. Rather than taking a generic politician approach, he is bringing a new, innovative, and 21st-century approach to the table. So rather than playing old politics (that we're all simply tired of), he takes a centrist approach that tackles all the right issues facing us today.

Posted by Nonsense
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 5, 2022 at 12:01 pm

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[Post removed; political signs may legally be placed on public property 90 days prior to an election and must be removed after the election.]

Posted by Michelle Preacher
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 5, 2022 at 12:49 pm

Michelle Preacher is a registered user.

LOL @Nonesense. Whose campaign are you with? Look, I have voted for Anna Eshoo for the last 20 years since I moved to this area but your comments attacking an extraordinary young person trying to serve the public is below what this community is all about. What makes you say he doesn't have "roots" in the community? Sure sounds like a dog whistle. Have you met him? About three weeks ago, I met Ajwang briefly when walking with my husband as he was door-knocking and was blown away that someone as kind and warm as him wanted to go through the ugliness that you are throwing.

I have been thinking I would vote for Anna one last time out of respect for her service but now these comments disparaging Ajwang and trying to label him as one thing or another speak to the fear that this may actually be a candidate worth looking at.

P.S. for those calling him a lightweight, take a look here: Web Link

Posted by J Smith
a resident of Mountain View
on May 5, 2022 at 7:32 pm

J Smith is a registered user.

Thank you to the League of Women Voters for hosting! As a long time voter for Congresswoman Eshoo, I originally only attended to hear her perspective on some of these issues. But I found the whole event extremely informative!

I was surprised to see how many challengers were unprepared or didn’t have substantive policy suggestions. I was however really impressed with the responses by Ajwang Rading. He actually gave substantive and pragmatic answers to all the policy questions.

I hope it is Mr. Rading and Congresswoman Eshoo on the ballot in November. They are by far the best candidates and further discussions between them would promote even better policies to benefit us all. For that reason I’ll be voting for Mr. Rading in the primary. Let’s see if he can keep my vote in November. This race is definitely one I’ll be watching closely!

Posted by Matt B
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 7, 2022 at 8:30 am

Matt B is a registered user.

Anna Eshoo has done [30] years in Congress and has done a great job. But [30] years in a seat is too long. In the heartland of disruption, we need fresh points of view.

If Ms Eshoo does not win, I hope she will pass on everything she s learnt during those [30] years to whoever wins.

I am rooting for Ajwan. So Talented, big brain, big heart, radical honesty and courage, and what a personal story.

Posted by Pat Markevitch
a resident of Downtown North
on May 7, 2022 at 8:08 pm

Pat Markevitch is a registered user.

A previous poster suggested age limits. No, we need term limits in all branches and offices of government. As for this particular race: ABT, Anybody But Tanaka. He brings no substance to council meetings and will only "log in" a protest statement after a vote. Pathetic.

Posted by Rebecca Eisenberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 8, 2022 at 12:29 am

Rebecca Eisenberg is a registered user.

I strongly agree with Pat Markevitch's statement that it is not *age* limits we need, but rather we need *term* limits. We need them in national, state, *and* local offices.

Strong term limits are one of the simplest means to assure equal participation in govt by women and underrepresented minorities, and age limits (assuming constitutional), unfairly harm women - who, now more than ever, deserve equal opportunity to lead. Due to economic and cultural roadblocks that women face more often than men, women often cannot enter professional and political spheres until later in life, so are often unable to run as the youthful candidates that are more commonly male. Plus, women tend to stay healthy longer, and live longer overall. An age limit would disparately impact women at the very time that women's rights are severely under attack.

What is disappointing about this race is that the only woman in it is the one who has held the job for 30 years. This could have been avoided had Representative Ashoo worked on succession planning (something that Rep Speier, disappointingly, did not do either) to ensure that a female successor could follow - an impossibility in this election.

So obviously my feelings are mixed.

That said, of the men in the race, I lean towards Mr. Rading, with two concerns. First is his job at Wilson Sonsini, a firm that defends corporate misdeeds and furthers the wealth divide (this is my experience with Wilson, having worked across the table from them for 30 years).

My second hesitation about Mr. Rading is his virtual silence about abortion. We urgently need candidates, regardless of gender, to CLEARLY state that abortion is healthcare and is a human right; that they will enact the ERA and the Abortion Access Act, and that women are ALWAYS more valuable than foetuses. Our current leaders - both parties - have let us down, and we rely on new voices to protect our daughters, and their daughters, from govt control of their bodies. Full stop.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 8, 2022 at 8:28 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

You have Anna Eshoo competing with a newcomer to the United States legislative process in your dialog above. Peter Ohtaki, former mayor of Menlo Park is a more realistic candidate as he is experienced in dealing with the state of CA and it's legislative complexities.

If you read the profiles submitted by the individuals in the Voter Guide then people portraying Ajwang need to understand that he has worked for a legal group that is invested in activist activities. How you all think about your candidates and portray them needs to be consistent with what they have said in their own political profiles.

Posted by Michelle Preacher
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 8, 2022 at 1:56 pm

Michelle Preacher is a registered user.

I'm sorry but you are seriously saying Peter Ohtaki is more experienced than Ajwang? No offense to the former Republican major but that's just not true. Ajwang's experience of writing federal legislation for Cory Booker or him working in the U.S. attorney's office or for that "legal group that is invested in activist activities" (LOL), which happens to be the Equal Justice Initiative and for BRYAN STEVENSON, or helping homeless veterans get their benefits -- what are you talking about? Just because Anna Eshoo recruited Peter to enter into the race to knock out her Democratic opponents does not make him a good choice. Peter has lost a handful of times and this will be no different.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 8, 2022 at 8:07 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Ajwang was based in Los Angeles at UCLA. Why didn't he choose to run in the city where he was established? Because he would not get elected in Los Angeles - no name recognition. Just another frog in a large frog pond. So he gets imported up to NorCal because Anna looks like an easy person to push aside? Still no name recognition. If he was writing for Booker why not run in Booker's state?

People are just being moved around to where the "Party" wants to stage changes. We are a different size frog pond. That says nothing for what he is going to do for us. This city and area seems to be a target for the whims of the "party". We must look like a group of pushovers.

The SFC is roasting Feinstein now - busy roasting it's own. Sorry - not a very good advertisement for the Party.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 10, 2022 at 10:32 pm

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Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 10, 2022 at 10:37 pm

Annette is a registered user.

It is time for a change.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2022 at 11:43 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Drive up El Camino in Menlo Park. What do you see? Extensive building that was started pre-covid. They are meeting their goals for housing in a very big way - and it looks great. Menlo Park is the home base for FB - working with a top tech company and all working well pre-covid. Are you saying that the Mayor had nothing to do with this? That is insulting.

Regardless of the R vs D the state requirements are the same for what ever party you are in. And they have met the goals of the state. They are effectively moving forward. I am seeing positive accomplishments and solid results. If a person is producing positive results in this specific area then that is all to the good. Thank you to the former mayor of Menlo Park stepping up to the plate - Peter Ohtaki. Great job, and good management.

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