ORINDA (CBS 5) – Last year’s Bay Area Rapid Transit strikes are a central issue in one Bay Area election this year, as State Assembly candidate Steve Glazer faces an unlikely opponent for democrats, organized labor.
During the 2013 strikes – one in July and another in October – Glazer circulated a petition which called for an end to BART Strikes. The Orinda Vice Mayor is running for state assembly as the one man who stood up to BART. Now public employee unions are standing up to oppose him.
So far, over a million dollars has been raised for this one assembly race, that’s more than five times what candidates in other races have raised. At last count, over 50 unions had given a total of more than $170,000 to Glaziers main opponent, fellow Democrat Tim Sbranti.
There is also an independent fund to get Sabranti elected. It has nearly a million all by itself, collected from unions like the SEIU and AFCSME.
For his part, Glazer is wearing his opposition to BART strikes like a badge of honor. Hiscampaign flyers actually highlight his “Ban BART Strikes” campaign. Glazer has raised about $300,000 for his assembly run from individuals, and another $200,000 from business interests. So far he has no independent backing.
Sbranti is the former head of a political action committee for the California Teacher’s Association, so that’s another reason he is favored by unions. What’s left is a campaign between a business-friendly Democrat and a labor-backed democrat that could have long-term implications for the future direction of the party in California.