Seven candidates for California Senate District 13 will go head-to-head in a debate on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at the Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Five Democrats, one Republican and one Libertarian are vying for the seat currently held by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), who is being termed out at the end of the year. Senate District 13 stretches from South San Francisco to Sunnyvale and is home to about a half million voters, 49% of whom are registered Democratic, 16% of whom are Republicans; and 31% of whom have claimed "No Party Preference."
The field includes Democrat Josh Becker, Democrat Michael Brownrigg, Republican Alex Glew, Democrat Sally Lieber, Democrat Shelly Masur, Democrat Annie Oliva and Libertarian John Webster.
At the debate, voters will be able to hear the candidates' stances on issues ranging from housing and homelessness to education, climate change and local versus state control.
The California open primary election is earlier this year, Tuesday, March 3, and voters will start receiving their ballots by mail in early February. Voters can cast a ballot for any candidate regardless of party affiliation. The top two in the primary will face off in November unless one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in March.
Becker of Menlo Park is a philanthropist, former venture capitalist and CEO. Brownrigg is a former Burlingame city councilman, diplomat and venture capitalist. Glew is an engineer and Los Altos Design Review commissioner. Lieber is a former state assemblywoman and Mountain View city councilwoman. Masur is the Redwood City vice mayor, a nonprofit executive and a former school board member. Oliva is a Millbrae city councilwoman and realtor. And Webster of Mountain View is a software engineer.
The debate will be moderated by Palo Alto Weekly Editor Jocelyn Dong, Embarcadero Media Reporter Kate Bradshaw and CalMatters Political Reporter Ben Christopher.
Questions from the audience will be taken at the debate. Ahead of the event, members of the public can suggest questions to the moderators by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting them via Twitter and Facebook.
The event is sponsored by the Palo Alto Weekly, Palo Alto Online, Mountain View Voice, the Almanac and CalMatters — a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom committed to explaining California policy and politics.
The Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium is located at 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto.
The debate will not be live-streamed but will be video-recorded. The video will be posted to Palo Alto Online's YouTube channel.
Watch our video interviews with six of the seven candidates, which you can also view through our playlist:
The deadline to register to vote for the March 3 primary election is Feb. 18. Santa Clara County citizens can get voting information online. If you are registered as "no party preference" and would like to vote in the Democratic, American Independent or Libertarian party primary, you may file a request up to seven days before the election using this form on the county's website.