San Francisco Chronicle endorses Mark DeSaulnier

DeSaulnier for Congress
May 2nd, 2014
San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board

When Rep. George Miller announced his retirement after 20 terms in Congress, his Contra Costa district braced for a flood of would-be successors. Instead, state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier cleared the field by lining up support built on two decades in public office.

DeSaulnier has earned his front-runner status. He’s plainspoken and unabashed in his opinions, and most recently put hard questions to Caltrans officials responsible for cost overruns and construction flaws with the Bay Bridge. “It cost $5 billion too much and took 10 years too long,” he said.

He also works well with other lawmakers and was a candidate for leader of the state Senate when Miller’s sudden departure created the House of Representatives opening.

DeSaulnier offers an independent streak in the heavily Democratic district that runs from Richmond to Danville. He opposes allowing BART workers to strike, a stance that pains labor but should please commuters who endured last year’s walkouts.

He’s also broken with Gov. Jerry Brown on two major issues by opposing a high-speed rail plan and a project to shunt Sacramento River water around the delta.

He knows the district well after serving on the Concord City Council and Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and in the state Assembly, to go with his two terms in the state Senate. In Sacramento, he heads legislative panels dealing with transportation and housing, two top issues for voters. Prior to his public career, he ran several restaurants in the East Bay.

There are five other candidates in the race: retired immigration Judge Tue Phan, Tesoro refinery employee Jason Ramey, job training advocate Cheryl Sudduth, Alameda City Councilman Tony Daysog and attorney Ki Ingersol.

None has the experience and knowledge to match DeSaulnier, who will face the runner-up in November. DeSaulnier gets our endorsement in the June primary.

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