Meet the 7 candidates who want to represent you in Sacramento | News | Mountain View Online |


Meet the 7 candidates who want to represent you in Sacramento

A guide on where Senate District 13 hopefuls stand on local, state issues

Left to right, from first to second rows: The candidates seeking to represent District 13 in the state Senate are Josh Becker, Mike Brownrigg, Alex Glew, Sally Lieber, Shelly Masur, Annie Oliva and John Webster. Photos by Magali Gauthier.

On March 3, and in the weeks leading up to it, the voters of California's 13th Senate district will have a tough task. With seven candidates vying to become the district's next Senate lawmaker, voters will decide which two will move on to the November general election ballot.

And that election will determine who will represent an area that has a vibrant population of nearly 1 million and is home to many of Silicon Valley's largest companies. The Senate seat is now held by former San Mateo County Supervisor Jerry Hill, who is being termed out of office.

The candidate pool offers voters five Democrats, a Republican and a Libertarian, though their perspectives, when it comes to how they would tackle the issues facing the region, are more nuanced than party lines might suggest.

They have unique areas of expertise and policy goals that they aim to take with them to Sacramento, based on past career, civic, nonprofit or philanthropic efforts.

Read our profiles of each candidate, alongside videotaped interviews with six of the seven contenders, on our Atavist page.

Candidates debating tonight

The seven candidates for state Senate District 13 will face off in a debate tonight, Feb. 5, from 7:30-9 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Palo Alto Weekly, Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice, the Almanac and CalMatters — a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom committed to explaining California policy and politics. Find more information on the event here.


Follow the Mountain View Voice on Twitter at @MVvoice, Facebook and Instagram at @MVvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

What is it worth to you?


16 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 6, 2020 at 7:39 pm

For homeowners, the first question should be which candidates oppose SB 50 and similar state bills on the way to rezone single-family neighborhoods for high-density housing. Shelly Masur and real estate agent Anne Oliva favored SB 50.

17 people like this
Posted by Enough Is Enough
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2020 at 9:41 am

She's likely not the only candidate to get some degree of developer backing but it appears Annie Oliva is *heavily* backed by developers, and we all know how dangerous that can be for an elected official. For that, along with her support of SB50, there's no way she should get my or any other MV resident's vote. Let's elect a senator who's going put our city and its residents first, and not allow greed to prevail!

13 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 7, 2020 at 10:27 am

The Palo Alto Weekly just published an article about the Feb. 5 debate and reports that Anne Oliva claimed to oppose SB 50. Call me skeptical.

13 people like this
Posted by Build More Housing
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Feb 7, 2020 at 3:19 pm

I am in favor, STRONGLY in favor, of SB50. It is the only solution anyone has given to stop the obstructive NIMBY policies in the Bay Area that have caused rents to skyrocket, and forced people into 1 hour+ commutes. Let people build housing!

Candidates who support SB50 (Masur) will get my vote. Anti-development candidates like Becker are not going to solve anything, and will only maintain the broken status quo.

13 people like this
Posted by Enough Is Enough
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2020 at 10:31 pm

@Build More Housing: Did you even *bother* to read the text of SB50? It takes the sledgehammer to local zoning (figuratively) and to sound, existing residential and commercial properties (literally). It's outright Orwellian, i.e., Sacramento politicians know best -- and question their authority at your own peril!

What I want is a candidate that will take the true spirit SB50 *claims* to have -- more housing and affordable housing among it -- and actually come up with a bill that will honor the uniqueness of California cities -- their locations, population, diversity, geography, economies, transportation and so on.

If such a candidate exists and can propose such a far-more-reasonable alternative to the folly that is SB50 (and its next incarnation), please step forward and state your case. You have our attention!

2 people like this
Posted by Mike D
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2020 at 5:15 am

It's been very good to hear the different views from the candidates. Becker seems to be the most well rounded. Masur is strong also. I feel uncomfortable with Brownrigg. Oliva is just the Real Estate Industry candidate, even when faced with an endorsement, the Democrat committee placed her sixth out of five candidates (no endorsement even scored more support than Oliva). Seems those opposed to SB50 are opposed as they believe local control should take priority - I think I agree with that - but why were many of these people opposed to Prop 10 which gave local control in regards to rent control, or prevention thereof?

1 person likes this
Posted by Community Minded
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2020 at 5:25 pm

Shelly Masur’s history of having served on both a school board and a city council gives her the breadth to tackle the wide range of issues that are important for our area and California. For the California senate, I like candidates who have held elective office before and have had the experience of working on a peer basis with fellow electeds, making public decisions, and being held publicly accountable by constituents. I would also like to have a woman in this senate seat. There are too few women in the California senate and none comes from districts close to ours.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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