Three candidates vie for District 8 Senate seat
Bay City News Service
June 3, 2006
The race to succeed state Sen. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, in
District 8 of the state Senate is becoming heated, as the three
Democrats vying for her seat have less than two days before the
June 6 Gubernatorial Primary election.
Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, former
San Mateo County supervisor Mike Nevin and former assemblyman
Lou Papan acknowledge they've got different visions for the state,
although they also all believe they're each the best choice to
fill Speier's shoes.
Both Yee and Papan refer to their experience in the Assembly
as invaluable and irreplaceable. However, Nevin's camp argues
that he has done more in Sacramento than both his competitors.
"Mike Nevin has accomplished more in Sacramento on the board
of supervisors than Yee and Papan," Nevin's campaign spokesman
Seamus Murphy said, referring to Nevin's years as supervisor in
San Mateo County. "He's very familiar with Sacramento."
Nevin's camp is quick to point out that, while Papan and Yee
may appear to have more experience in Sacramento, neither of them
has accomplished anything of substance.
Papan never did "anything that was jam packed full of accomplishments,"
Murphy said. And Yee, according Murphy, "has a bad habit
of doing the wrong thing at the wrong time."
Murphy cited Yee's vote against a bill proposing a ban on toxic
chemicals in plastic baby toys. According to Murphy, Yee agreed
to vote in favor of the ban but later voted against it. He said
that a week later Yee accepted "lots of money" from
If elected, Nevin plans to work toward introducing full funding
for education, universal healthcare and environmental preservation,
Two things that Yee and Nevin do have in common is their desire
to offer greater healthcare and their concern for education. Yee
has received support from several statewide and local teachers
associations in this election, according to his campaign spokesman
"Leland's the only candidate who has ever worked in the
classroom," Noyola said. "He knows how to deal with
the issues that matter most to the district."
Those issues include quality healthcare, civil rights, affordable
housing and education, according to his campaign.
"Leland believes everyone in this state deserves access
to quality healthcare," Noyola said. "In the Senate
he will continue to work for universal healthcare."
As an assembly speaker pro tem, one of Yee's most publicized
efforts was Assembly Bill 1179, which authorizes a fine of up
to $1,000 against stores and individuals caught selling games
categorized as ultra-violent to children under the age of 17.
"Leland has shown his ability to be effective," Noyola
said. "He can get the job done."
Murphy said he thought there were "a lot more important
issues that need to be tackled" than the video game legislation.
Of the three candidates, Papan could be considered the wild card.
"If everybody who supports Lou Papan votes, he'll win,"
Papan's campaign manager Frank Gallagher said.
"The fact that we have an opportunity to send someone like
Lou Papan with 20 years of history back" is amazing, Gallagher
According to Gallagher, alongside his other interests, Papan
is specifically concerned with education.
"While the opponents are talking about the need to fund
education, Lou is the only one offering up ideas," Gallagher
Papan wants to change the way commercial properties are currently
taxed under Proposition 13. By taxing commercial properties differently
than residential properties more funding could be raised for schools.
According to Gallagher, Papan also wants to index the gas tax.
This means that, as gasoline prices continue to rise, oil companies
would have to pay more in taxes, Gallagher said.
Also running for Speier's state Senate seat are Republicans Michael
Skipakevich and Oscar Alejandro Braun.
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