That’s right…the Fremont mayor’s race and what it might mean for the A’s. What, you were thinking about some other election? No CGVinista me…I’m keeping it all baseball, all the time. At least until Late Night with Roy Williams kicks off the UNC Tarheels’ 08-09 men’s hoops campaign…in just two weeks!
But I digress. The question was elections we can discuss freely on AN. And the answer is…the Fremont Mayor’s race! In today’s East Bay Express, Robert Gammon provides a primer on this campaign, describing the three candidates in the mix and what a victory by each might portend for The Ballpark at Wolffish Acres at Fremont. Here’s the lineup:
Mayor Bob Wasserman, incumbent and primary A’s-to-Fremont booster
Former Mayor Gus Morrison, primary A-s-to-Fremont opponent
Councilman Steve Cho, would-be holder of the middle ground
Gammon lists the obvious Wasserman = good for ballpark, Morrison = bad for ballpark equation, but adds a few interesting aspects, such as:
At this point, the mayor's race appears to be too close to call. Under city rules, whoever gets the most votes wins, even if that person fails to garner at least 50 percent of the vote. Some political observers, including Wasserman himself, and former longtime Assemblyman (FSU: and Fremont Ur-developer) John Dutra, think Wasserman and Morrison, who are both Democrats, may cancel each other out, allowing Cho, a Republican, to slip past them. "That concerns me the most," said Mayor Wasserman. "Every vote Gus Morrison gets is a vote for Cho."
Wasserman, however, has some significant advantages. As of last week, he said he had raised more than $100,000 for the campaign, far more than either of his competitors. It's also more than he has ever raised for a mayoral campaign before, he said. In addition, most of the city's political power structure is backing him.
(Cho) also expressed interest in letting Fremont voters have the final say on the A's deal. "Talking to people, there's a good number that do want a ballot measure," he said. He indicated that he would support such a move, but said he would not initiate it. However, some team backers say they believe an expensive election campaign could prompt Wolff to abandon the proposal altogether. "If you think of a project at that level — $1.8 billion or more — the more uncertainty you put into the situation, by putting it on the ballot, makes it tougher for the team to find investors," Dutra said.
…Regardless, Wasserman and Dutra say that neither the Wolffs nor the team plan to get involved in the mayor's race even though it could ultimately determine the team's future. If they did, voters might view it as an attempt to sway the election. Wasserman said he hasn't even spoken to the Wolffs in the last two months.
So what happens if Wasserman loses? Some Oakland officials, including City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, believe the A's can be convinced to stay put.
The game isn't over until it's over. Also: "You gotta be careful if you don't know where you're going, otherwise you might not get there" Also: "You wouldn't have won if we'd beaten you."