Candidates for state Senate to square off at Feb. 5 debate | News | Mountain View Online |


Candidates for state Senate to square off at Feb. 5 debate

Seven vying to replace Sen. Jerry Hill and represent District 13 will debate at Palo Alto Art Center

Clockwise from top left: Democrat Josh Becker, Democrat Michael Brownrigg, Republican Alex Glew, Democrat Sally Lieber, Libertarian John Webster, Democrat Annie Oliva and Democrat Shelly Masur are vying to represent California Senate District 13, which spans from South San Francisco to Sunnyvale. Photos courtesy of the candidates.

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 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:

Josh Becker

Michael Brownrigg

Alex Glew

Sally Lieber

Shelly Masur

Annie Oliva

Voter info

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.

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16 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 29, 2020 at 2:21 pm

For me, Oliva is out as a realtor supported by realtors. Masur is out as a supporter of SB 50 which would prohibit cities and counties from restricting where to allow construction of high-desity housing. SB 50 may pass the state senate today - but its focus on developer and corporate perogatives and profits will remain important when one of these candidates becomes our next state senator.

6 people like this
Posted by Daniel Howard
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2020 at 3:55 pm

Is Masur supports SB-50, then I support Masur. We need to legalize home construction.

9 people like this
Posted by will
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2020 at 10:29 am

Masur funded mostly by Sacramento unions.
Oliva by real estate.
Becker by tech. Lieber and Brownrigg self-funded.

Like this comment
Posted by W Butkus
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Feb 12, 2020 at 5:20 am

It's amazing that the Democrat committee considering an official endorsement couldn't come to a conclusion - though they seemed to favor either Masur or Becker. Funny though that they placed the Real Estate Industry candidate Oliva at #6 out of 5 candidates with zero votes (every other candidate received votes). "No Candidate" scored higher than Oliva!

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