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November 05, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, November 05, 2004

Democrats win in local elections Democrats win in local elections (November 05, 2004)

Bonini, Evers take county leadership seats

By Jon Wiener and Julie O'Shea

There were no surprises in Mountain View's Congressional and state elections, with Democrats Anna Eshoo, Elaine Alquist and Sally Lieber winning their races easily.

In local nonpartisan races, Griffin Bonini also took a county judge's seat handily and Bill Evers will represent Mountain View on the county board of education.

Eshoo re-elected

U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo trounced her Republican challenger Chris Haugen, a teacher at King's Academy in Sunnyvale, winning nearly 70 percent of the vote in her bid for a seventh term in the 14th Congressional District.

The Democrat, now a member of the House's intelligence committee, first entered the House when she replaced Republican Tom Campbell in 1992. She said during the campaign that she wants to focus on keeping the country's technology workforce competitive and ensuring access to quality health care for all Americans.

Libertarian Brian Holtz finished third with 3.6 percent of the vote.

Alquist wins State Senate seat easily

Elaine Alquist, a former state Assembly member from the 22nd District, won handily in her bid to replace outgoing state Senator John Vasconcellos in Senate District 13. Alquist, who essentially locked up the traditionally Democratic seat in a March primary against state Assembly member Manny Diaz, polled at 68.8 percent.

Republican Shane Patrick Connolly, a social liberal with a background in financial management, grabbed 27.1 percent of the vote. Libertarian Mike Laursen, a Mountain View resident who won his party primary by only two votes, took 4.1 percent, or 6,896 votes.

A former teacher, Alquist said she will push for universal preschool and increased funding for higher education.

Lieber wins second Assembly term

Former Mountain View Mayor Sally Lieber easily defeated a low-budget challenge from a Santa Clara University student as she won a second term in Assembly District 22. Lieber won 70 percent of the vote against Marie Dominguez-Gasson, who turned 21 on election night.

Lieber was seen at parties hosted by city council candidates in downtown Mountain View on Tuesday night. In her two years in the Assembly, she has ascended to assistant speaker pro tempore, the third most powerful Democrat in the chamber.

She sponsored a number of controversial bills this year, among them a requirement for cars more than 30 years old to start getting smog checks and a bill to raise the minimum wage. The so-called "rolling smog check extension" passed, although Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the minimum wage bill.

Bonini wins Superior Court judgeship

Griffin Bonini, a prosecutor with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, won a spot on the county's Superior Court bench Tuesday.

Bonini beat Enrique Colin, a county public defender, with 60 percent of the vote. Bonini replaces Judge Jerald Infantino, who retired. The term for Superior Court Seat 7 is for six years. Bonini is slated to take the bench in January.

Bonini, a San Jose resident and the father of four, has both criminal and civil litigation experience, having spent five years in private practice. He grew up on the Stanford campus and attended Gunn High School. He received his undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College and his law degree from Santa Clara University.

Evers takes county education board seat

Bill Evers, who spent five months trying to rebuild Iraq's public school system, won a four-year term on the Santa Clara County Board of Education on Tuesday.

Evers defeated Jeff Ota, a Santa Clara University engineering professor. Evers received 53.18 percent of the vote. An educational researcher at Stanford University and a board member of the East Palo Alto Charter School, Evers replaces Margaret Abe-Koga, who lost a bid for Mountain View City Council on Tuesday.

Evers, a California native and current Palo Alto resident, has acted as an adviser to the U.S. Department of Education and spent five months helping Iraq rebuild its school system, which has 390,000 teachers and 6 million students.

He said he wants to find a way to help the county's 52 underachieving schools, including Castro Elementary, succeed. This means extensive teacher training and partnering principals at higher-achieving schools with the heads of those campuses that are struggling to make the grade.

The seven-member County Board of Education oversees 347 schools in 32 districts.

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