Simitian will run for Supervisor in 2012
Abe-Koga remains in race; Kasperzak, Macias immediately withdraw
State Senator Joe Simitian's announcement on Saturday that he will run for the County Board of Supervisors has caused two potential Mountain View candidates to withdraw from the race.
Mountain View council members Mike Kasperzak and Laura Macias expressed interest earlier this year, though both said Monday that they will be supporting Simitian's candidacy instead.
"It very clearly means that I am not going to be running for the board of supervisors," Kasperzak said Monday. "I can't think of a more qualified candidate for the position," he said of Simitian.
Simitian faces bids from Mountain View City Council member Margaret Abe-Koga and former Saratoga Mayor Kathleen King. Both King and Abe-Koga continue to campaign to represent District 5, which includes Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Cupertino and Saratoga and part of Sunnyvale.
"I consider him a friend," Abe-Koga said in an email about Simitian. "And I welcome him to this race."
Simitian announced his candidacy for supervisor at an annual brunch in Palo Alto Sunday morning, Nov. 6. Among the more than 200 attendees of the event at the Lucie Stern Community Center were Macias, U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and current Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss, he said. Kniss will be termed out of the District 5 seat at the end of 2012.
"Our county government deals with some of the state's greatest challenges, including health care, welfare, public safety, and regional land use," Simitian stated in a press release. "More than 1.7 million county residents expect county government to deliver real results on a daily basis. I look forward to being part of that effort."
Simitian's public-service career has its roots in Palo Alto. He served on the Board of Education, including as president; City Council, including a term as mayor; the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors; and State Assembly.
Kasperzak said he felt that Simitan's experience made him "perfectly suited for the challenges the county is going to face."
"Its hard for me to believe that Mountain View, Palo Alto and Los Altos and part of Sunnyvale would elect a supervisor from Saratoga, which is a very different community," Kasperzak said of King.
Macias said that Simitian was a great fit for the county supervisor job because he has the skills necesary "in an age of needed re-engineering of government practices and processes."
Simitian was elected to the California State Senate in November 2004 to represent the 11th State Senate District, which includes portions of San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.
He has also served as an election observer/supervisor in El Salvador and Bosnia, and he participated in refugee relief and resettlement efforts in Albania and Kosovo.
Simitian's long term plans for a seat in Congress have reportedly been derailed by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo's plans to run for another term in 2012.
— Palo Alto Weekly staff contributed to this report.