CALIFORNIA -- The upcoming special election in California's 7th Senate District will feature two Democrats as a result of the state's nonpartisan, top-two primary. Democrats Steve Glazer and Susan Bonilla took the top two spots in the March 17 primary election, with 33 percent and 24.9 percent of the vote, respectively.
Glazer is a former adviser to Governor Jerry Brown and mayor of Orinda. Assemblymember Bonilla, who has the Democratic Party's endorsement, has represented the 14th Assembly District since 2010 and is a former mayor of Concord.
To some, seeing two Democrats on the ballot means that neither candidate differs much from the other. However, this is not the case in Senate District 7.
Attack ad campaigns from the left have already gotten creative in an attempt to paint Steve Glazer out of the picture. During the primary race, a political action committee tried to mislead voters into thinking that Republican Micheala Hertle was still campaigning, even though she dropped out of the race weeks earlier and already endorsed Glazer.
Deceptive and negative ads usually discourage the average voter, but excite party-base voters. However, if Glazer manages to overcome a tide of PAC spending ahead of the May 19 election, it would signal a big shift in party politics.
Political commentators like Joel Fox from Fox and Hounds Daily agree:
"Some would say that the attacks against Glazer over the course of the campaign are political business as usual – the kind of stuff that turns off casual observers to politics. Maybe that’s the point. Discourage the independent-minded voter from casting a vote because they are disgusted with the political invective. However, should Glazer withstand the onslaught he would be a reliable Democratic vote in the legislature. But, he would also be a trailblazer – independent from most Democrats who gained their seats with heavy backing from the unions — and, perhaps, opening the door for others to follow the same path. If such a transition comes to pass, Glazer’s election might eventually be talked about along with the election of early 20th century governor Hiram Johnson, who successfully broke the grip of the railroads on the California legislature." - Joel Fox, Fox and Hounds Daily