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Business, Labor Spend Millions In Battle For East Bay Assembly Seat

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WALNUT CREEK (KPIX 5) — The battle lines are drawn in a hotly contested Assembly race in the East Bay. With less than one week, two powerful special interest groups are dividing Democrats.

In one corner: Political consultant and Orinda City Councilmember Steve Glazer. His call for a ban on BART strikes has made him the enemy of labor unions up and down the state.

“They don’t want politicians to buck up against them. And there weren’t any politicians willing to call is as I saw it, which was that it was wrong,” Glazer said.

In the other corner: Teacher and Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, who has the backing of environmentalists, teachers, and other unions, including BART unions.

“That issue has been way politicized,” Sbranti said. “If you talk to real people on the streets that issue is done.”

Business interests backing Glazer, such as the state realtors, have bumped about $1.8 million into radio ads attacking Sbranti for his support of the strike.

“It’s just noise,” Sbranti said.

Speaking of noise, Sbranti’s union supports have fired back with a $1.6 million barrage, attacking Glazer for his work as a political consultant for big business.

“It does show how you get demonized when you run for office,” Glazer said.

The winner in all this may be Republican Catharine Baker, who stands a good chance of coming in at number one in Tuesday’s first-round vote.

“I’ll get every voter I can regardless of where they are on the political spectrum,” Baker told KPIX 5.

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