December 2020 BayAreaGOP Newsletter Articles

California Republicans Achieve Election Victories

With more than 99% of the votes counted, we now know California Republicans have achieved remarkable success in this election cycle.

Under the leadership of House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and CAGOP Chairwoman Jessica Patterson, California Republicans flipped four Congressional seats from Democrat to Republican. Congressman Mike Garcia, who won his seat last May in a special election, was the latest declared winner.  Former Assemblywoman Young Kim and Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel are headed to Congress for the first time and former Congressman David Valadao will return to Washington, having reclaimed the seat he lost narrowly in 2018.

In the state legislature, Republican Suzette Martinez Valladares won an Assembly seat formerly occupied by a Democrat, increasing GOP strength in that chamber.

The California GOP flexed its muscle by helping win battles on five major ballot measures.  Policy positions taken by the California Republican Party prevailed in the following areas:

  1. Lower Taxes. Voters defeated the split roll initiative, Proposition 15, the latest effort by California Democrats to raise our taxes.
  2. Equal Opportunity For All. Voters rejected the reintroduction of race-based discrimination and preferences by defeating Proposition 16.
  3. Allow the Free Market to Help Solve our Housing Crisis. By defeating Proposition 21, voters once again rejected the introduction of rent control, which would have further suppressed new housing construction and made our housing crisis worse.
  4. Freedom to Work Independently. Voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 22, which allows Uber, Lyft and Door Dash drivers to work as independent contractors.  Perhaps now the California Legislative Democrats will join Republicans and grant this freedom to all workers.
  5. Limit Government Bureaucracy. By voting No on Proposition 25, voters rejected the idea that government employees should replace an entire industry that was effectively causing those accused of crimes to show up in court.

Much has been made of the Democratic dominance in California politics, but the current election results indicate that GOP candidates can campaign on Republican ideas and win.

Republicans Win Mayor’s Races in the Bay Area

by Roger Riffenburgh

While there were many Republicans who won local office around the Bay Area, often with the support of their county Republican party, we report on some who won races for mayor.

Marie Blankley won a big victory in the race for mayor of Gilroy. She is a lifelong Gilroy resident, a mother of two grown kids, and a Certified Public Accountant. Since she came onto the Gilroy City Council in 2018, she has been building a record of achievement and fiscal conservatism. At a time when many cities are in fiscal crisis due to Covid-19, and Gilroy is still overcoming the pain of the 2019 Garlic Festival shooting, she successfully made the case that she is well prepared to lead the city and return it to financial stability.

Dave Hudson campaigned on his experience, and voters were impressed, as he won the race to become San Ramon’s next mayor. Hudson is serving a record seventh term as a councilmember. He has also represented the city on many boards and commissions, including the League of California Cities and various transportation boards, where he has successfully worked to reduce traffic congestion and promote bike sharing. He had also served earlier on the Planning Commission, as well as in Vietnam.

In the northern Solano County town of Dixon, Steve Bird defeated the incumbent to win the mayor’s race. Bird is completing 8 years on the city council and previously was in law enforcement for over 20 years, having retired as a Dixon police captain. Bird’s campaign plan for Dixon focused on a transparent and balanced budget, partnerships for jobs and the economy, and fair & reliable water delivery. After Bird won, the Vacaville Reporter quoted him: “I’m your mayor in this community. I’m here for everybody and everybody has a place at the table.”

In Gonzales, in the Salinas Valley of Monterey County, Jose Rios was elected mayor, defeating the longtime incumbent by over 10%. He graduated from Gonzales High School and from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in economics. Rios and his wife raised four children, and he retired after working for a utility company. He has been active in the community as a former city councilman, a volunteer firefighter, a city planning commissioner, and a middle school basketball coach. Rios walked almost every door in town during his campaign and opposed the rezoning of a downtown site from a proposed community center to affordable housing.

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