Monday, March 29, 2010

The Brutal, Year-Long Campaign for the State Assembly District 43 Chair

"It's A Girl!" the birth announcement read.

"Hey, do we know anyone who just had a baby? I don't know who this is," I asked Maria.

I flipped the card over. Oh. Mike Gatto strikes again.

Mike Gatto is running for California State Assembly in the 43rd district (replacing Paul Krekorian, who was recently elected to Los Angeles City Council).

Since we reside in the district, we've been bombarded for days by Mike Gatto. At least two mailings a day. Phone calls from volunteers. Folks knocking on our door, asking for our vote. Gatto's got some money to spend, and quite a few people helping him as he spends it.

Gatto's from the area, and is now an attorney for Mayer Brown LLP. There's a good chance we'll vote for him on April 13, when the special election is held to fill out the rest of Krekorian's term -- which expires this fall. But we're not committed to anyone just yet.

Besides, this may not be the end of it. Even if he wins on April 13, Gatto will nonetheless have to once again campaign for the seat in mere months. That's a lotta Gatto.

As the Mad Professah notes, the campaign to take the AD-43 chair is brutal:

1) On April 13th, 2010 there will be a special election to fill the seat.
2) If no one gets more than 50% of the vote then there will be a run-off election on June 8, 2010 for the right to serve out the rest of Krekorian's term.
3) However, also on June 8, 2010 will be a primary election for the right to be on the ballot to represent the 43rd district for a full 2-year term.
4) November 2, 2010 will be the statewide general election for 43rd District

Our district leans heavily Democrat, so once Gatto wins that first election, he's a shoo-in to hold on to the seat in the fall. That's why we're now experiencing the brunt of the Gatto machine. (Gatto is facing off against Glendale school boardmember Nayiri Nahabedian and two other, lesser-known candidates.)

But back to that mailer. Let's face it, it was a little odd -- although, hey, kudos to him for finding a way to turn the expense of a typical newborn announcement into a campaign mailer. But it assumed a familiarity that I'm not quite comfortable with just yet. (I also wonder if it rubbed some voters the wrong way -- like, "Hey, you just had a baby -- perhaps you oughta be focusing on that instead of this race!") Mike Gatto, we're just getting to know you.

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